Foods to Eat If You're Always Hungry

Foods to Eat if You’re Always Hungry
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If you feel like you are always hungry, you might want to choose foods that help you stay feeling full for longer. To combat hunger, look to protein and fiber. Both reduce hunger and increase meal satisfaction for longer.

Fiber is an indigestible component of plant foods and helps add bulk to your meals, filling you up and slowing down digestion for lasting feelings of fullness. Protein also takes longer to digest since your body has to work harder to break it down.

Adding foods with fiber and avoiding those, such as refined grains, that have been stripped of their fiber but are high in simple carbohydrates (and sugars) will improve your hunger levels. While those quick-energy starchy foods may be what you crave when feeling very hungry, they will not satisfy you for long.

The best foods to eat if you are always hungry have more than one filling nutrient, such as legumes which contain healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. Another strategy is to eat high protein and fiber foods in combination, such as yogurt with berries and nuts.

Lean Proteins

When you’re hungry between meals, it’s often because you’re not getting enough protein. Adding protein to each meal will help you combat hunger later in the day. Eating higher protein, less calorie-dense foods instead of higher fat foods will keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer and reduces the desire to eat more later in the day.

Always keep some protein-packed snacks nearby—bonus points if they’re also shelf-stable so you can keep them in your purse, car, and/or office drawer. Studies have found that protein makes people feel fuller than other nutrients.

  • Fish is an excellent source of protein (and healthy fats), but some people find it intimidating to prepare, and it's not portable. But tuna in cans and pouches makes eating fish easier. StarKist makes ready-to-eat pouches that are pre-seasoned and perfectly portioned.
  • Chicken breast, lean ground turkey, and lean ground beef can serve as the base protein for dozens of different meals. Cook up several batches without seasoning early in the week and your lunches and dinners for the week are halfway done.
  • Jerky is a great go-to emergency snack. It’s delicious, full of protein, and available in tons of flavors including jerky made from turkey and chicken. There are even vegan varieties. 
  • Greek yogurt also makes an excellent high-protein snack.
  • Eggs can be boiled up ahead of time for a quick snack or mix them up into an omelet with veggies for a healthy, filling start to your day.
  • Legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, and edamame are a plant source of protein that are a nutritionally dense source of energy. You can roast them for snacking, or add them to soups or salads.

High-Fiber Foods

Fiber is another vital nutrient that fills you up. Fiber is satiating, and it’s known to help with weight loss.

  • Berries are a terrific natural source of fiber. You can eat around 1 cup of raspberries or blackberries for about 64 calories, and that serving packs 8 grams of dietary fiber. Top fat-free Greek yogurt with berries for a mini-meal that's loaded with both protein and fiber.
  • Passion fruit is low in calories with high vitamin C content and is one of the highest fiber fruits, containing 24 grams per cup.
  • Pears are excellent eaten out of hand, on top of yogurt, or in a salad. One medium fruit provides 6 grams of fiber.
  • Avocados are known to be a good source of healthy polyunsaturated fats, but they're also high in fiber, containing 5 grams per half fruit. They also contain pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin K, and copper.
  • Chickpeas or garbanzo beans contain 6 grams of fiber in a cup (cooked). They are also a good source of filling protein, as well as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Try them in hummus, salads, or soups.
  • Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable high in fiber with 2.4 grams per cup. With only 6 grams of carbohydrates, a third of broccoli's carbs come from filling fiber.
  • Popcorn is a healthy snack, especially when air-popped at home. It contains 3.6 grams of fiber per cup with 18.6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein.

Bonus Filler-Upper: Water

One possible culprit for that nagging feeling of hunger is actually thirst. It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, so make sure you stay hydrated all day long. Steadily sip on that water bottle and you may find that your munchies go away.

Complex Carbs

A great option for filling up is to round out meals with low-calorie, high-volume veggies like spaghetti squash. Adding these foods to your meals and snacks will help you feel full because high-volume foods take up more room in your stomach.

Foods that contain complex carbohydrates—like whole grains, beans, and green vegetables—are slow burners that give your body the sustaining energy it needs. Many of the foods already mentioned, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, offer complex carbs along with protein and fiber.

  • Old-fashioned oats are a favorite source of whole grains. You can even learn how to make oatmeal while you sleep.
  • Spaghetti squash and zucchini can easily be turned into a base for pasta dishes. They are also perfect for sauteing or roasting. Zucchini is excellent on the grill in a kabob as well.
  • Sweet potatoes are a naturally sweet and delicious source of complex carbs with 26 grams per medium 130-gram potato. They are also high in vitamin A and potassium.
  • Whole-grain crackers, pasta, and bread are convenient sources of complex carbohydrates that offer much more nutrition than their white, refined counterparts.
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Article Sources
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