Recently, on Jan. 11, weigh loss gurus at Eat This Not That posted a list of 25 surprise foods that make you hungry. To be clear, Eat This Not That didn’t call them surprises, but you might be startled when you read the list. Not all of these are the junk food that health loss gurus rail against. Some hunger-causing foods are actually popular for dieting. Some have been touted as appetite suppressants. But if fact, says Eat This Not That they actually derail dieting. Instead of suppressing appetite, these foods make blood sugar spike. Then it drops, leaving those nasty low blood sugar “shakes”–you know, the kind where you feel you could eat the very chair you’re sitting on? Could hunger-causing foods actually cause obesity, too? It makes sense that people would overeat if foods don’t satisfy and leave them craving more. So dieters may actually be sabotaging their own weight loss, eating these appetite time bombs unawares. Check the list and see.
As per Eat This Not That, the worst foods that make you hungry are: cheese, juice, lowfat yogurt, egg whites and fat-free salad dressings. Yikes! These all top the list of foods for weight loss! Every diet manual suggest eating yogurt and that’s still correct as long as it doesn’t contain sugar or fruit and has extra protein like Greek yogurt! And juicing has a cult following fighting obesity. It makes sense that cheese, with that addictive casein, would cause cravings and boost appetite. But wait, there are more hunger-causing foods. Foods that make you hungry are “healthy” foods, sugar, granola bars, ketchup and muffins. Foods labeled “healthy”trick the brain into cravings because it thinks it’s not getting the same treats as “unhealthy” foods. The next four are sugar bombs–sugar releases feel-good dopamine. Sugar creates cravings for itself that literally drive people mad to get it. Ketchup is particularly bad because it’s loaded with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). HFCS interrupts metabolism and slows production of leptin (which helps folks feel full).
Other foods that make you hungry and derail weight loss are sugary cereals, refined grains, salty snacks, artificial sweeteners and Chinese food. Blame the lack of fiber and protein coupled with sugar and empty calories for the first two. You really can’t eat just one when you’re talking salty snacks make you thirsty so you eat more instead of drinking water. Artificial sweeteners are like healthy foods–they try to trick the body into thinking its getting a treat, but the wise body knows better and keeps wanting the real sugar it’s craving. Chinese foods has MSG which spurs cravings and boosts appetite. Store bought soup, chewing gum, low fiber bread, bagels and croissants and fruit smoothies. Of these foods that make you hungry, soup is too salty and gum tricks the body into getting ready to digest foods. Bread, bagels and croissants all contain too many empty carbs and too little fiber and protein. But fruit smoothies are supposed to be weight loss manna, right? They are when made with protein (Greek yogurt and nuts), fiber (flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts) veggies (kale, carrots spinach) and not just sugary fruits.
The worst hunger-causing foods are: alcohol which burns up glycogen, makes you crave carbs and impairs your resistance. Next are doughnuts and fast foods (sugar, salt and junk fat overload with no fiber or protein), followed by binge foods and things you can easily overeat (cookies, crackers, chips, snacks and munchies). And what does Eat This Not That name the worst hunger-causing foods? Drum roll–your craving’s doppelganger–whatever placebo you substitute to satisfy your cravings will cause you to feel deprived and hungry (ergo, fake sugar is no substitute for real and diet chocolate won’t replace a good old Dove bar!)
So how do you avoid cravings, keep dieting and achieve weight loss? Eat This Not That says to eat a good-fat, high protein, good-carb, high fiber diet. Practice portion control and moderation. Find “feel full foods” Teach yourself to be satisfied with less and once in awhile, give in to cravings to avoid a full on meltdown.