Feel fuller longer: 6 ways to get a handle on your hunger

MILWAUKEE -- It's one of the main reasons people struggle to eat healthier: we're hungry! but registered dietitian Lisa Grudzielanek with Your Tasty Life joins Real Milwaukee to help us fill up what can fee like a bottomless pit.

1. Avoid foods high in sugar

  • Hunger is a result of many complex interactions that occur in the stomach, intestines, brain and pancreas. It is a circuit that can easily be hijacked by foods high in sugar.
  • The reward and pleasure center of the brain are triggered and release a feel-good chemical, dopamine.
  • Excessive sugar slows the production of leptin, a hormone that squashes hunger.
  • Quick digesting carbs, such as white bread, can spur insulin highs and subsequent lows, which drive appetite.

2. Add more protein

  • Protein increases the feelings of fullness and can help by eating less at your next meal and help you lose fat.

3. Add beans

  • Adding fiber-rich beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils to your meal can increase feelings of fullness by 31%, compared to equivalent meals that aren't based on beans.
  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends Americans get between 20 and 35 grams of fiber per day for beneficial healthy effects.
  • A ½ cup of beans contains 7-8 grams of fiber.

4. Drinking coffee & water

  • Regular and/or decaf may help reduce hunger for up to 3 hours.
  • Water can help decrease the hunger you feel before meals & increase feelings of fullness following a meal.

5. Sleep enough to decrease hunger

  • Studies show that too little sleep can increase hunger and appetite by up to 24% and decrease levels of some fullness hormones by up to 26%.

6. Glucomannan

  • When consumed, glucomannan 'sponges' up water in the digestive tract, reducing the absorption of carbs and cholesterol and can also help reduce hunger, constipation and blood sugar. It may make you feel full without leaving you gassy or bloated. Available three different ways: powder, supplement or via Shirataki noodles. Speak with your doctor before beginning this or any supplement.