We have all been there, its after dinner, watching tv or reading or doing whatever…. Then, hunger strikes and we do NOT understand why. Is it because we are bored?
Is it because we didn’t eat the right things?
Do we just have an undeniable sweet tooth that will never be cured?
It could be some of those things, but chances are it is more due one of the following- the foods we are eating, whether we are getting enough water, nutrient absorption and/or gut imbalances, lack of sleep and stress which can all lead to hormone imbalances and insulin resistance.
So lets it break it down a little bit and then I will give you some recommendations on what you can do.
What it could be:
Poor food combining-
What we eat matters. Eating processed foods that lack proper nutrients our body needs can leave us feeling more hungry. Many processed foods contain sugars that combined with other fake ingredients our body cannot process cause blood sugar dis regulation which in turn affects hunger by leading to more cravings not long after we eat.
If we eat meals with proper proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats that also include vital micro nutrients (like those found in organic leafy greens and seeds) can make a huge difference in how we feel and process food. Not to mention eating processed foods lead to gut imbalances which lead to poor absorption of vitamins and nutrients when we do consume them.
We know we gotta drink water but did you know that not being hydrated makes a major difference in how we feel in relation to being full and satisfied?
For example, have you ever had someone tell you to drink some water you may be thirsty when you say you are hungry (but you really shouldn’t be?) Well there is a reason for that. When we are not getting adequate hydration our cells simply go after sugar (and make us crave it) for a quick fix for energy since we do not have enough hydration within our cells for them to function. Our body is smart and it knows sugar gives a quick boost- so enter the sugar craving.
Lack of sleep causes stress hormones to rise. You can read all about that here. However when this happens it lead
to cravings. When there is a stress (like lack of sleep and repair)
to our body not only do our stress hormones rise but they also cause our appetite hormones to get imbalanced which leads to cravings and potentially overeating.
Nutrient Absorption –
I am going to focus on one in particular right here because many of us lack it. Low magnesium.
This is a nutrient our body needs to help with cellular energy and absorption of other vitamins and nutrients like calcium and vitamin k and d3. However most of us are low in it due to poor absorption in our gut and/or not eating enough magnesium rich foods . Being low in it can lead to insulin resistance and fatigue which can both increase sugar and hunger cravings by playing with hormones such as our stress hormones which can signal our body to crave certain things for energy.
Other minerals that may mimic cravings due to our body lacking them are calcium, zinc, and chromium. Some of these may be simply due to dehydration while others may need to be supplemented.
So what are the 5 most important things you can do to help nix these late night cravings?
1- Drink enough water throughout the day
- Start your day with a full glass of water BEFORE anything else. Then aim to have atleast 2 more before lunch. Then 3 more before dinner, then two after.
- Avoid adding things with splenda or other articificial sweeteners to these glasses as they can strip the nutrients from the water you drink.
- Opt for mineral based waters like The Mountain Valley (my favorite)
2- Eat a diet that consists of healthy proteins and fats
- These two things combined with complex carbs (non starchy to spike bloodsugar) actually help regulate blood sugar and control cravings.
3- Get enough sleep
- I know it is easier said than done, but sleep really is crucial to setting yourself up for success. It is when our body repairs itself, it is when our metabolism should be working and setting itself up for the next day. If you need help with some good sleep practices I have a freebie for ya here.
- Do something every day to help yourself decrease stress. Again stress is so BAD for us and it is caused by so many different things in our life, not just from work. It is also caused internally with the foods we eat that are not good for us, the alcohol we may drink, the antiobiotics we may take and mess up our gut, the toxins we are exposed to in the air. Now do not take that to mean that you need to live in a bubble but taking some time out to really breathe and relax, take a walk, get a massage, read a book, take a bath, do something for you it can really make a difference.
5- Supplement or eat more vitamin and micro nutrient rich foods.
- Eating things like spinach, kale, some grains and seeds, all these things can really help us and heal to where we can absorb other nutrients better. Supplementing with a probiotic to help the microbiome in our gut get more balanced and/or other things like magnesium and zinc can help too. Just make sure they are of a good quality like these.
Hopefully this can help you get off to a good start with feeling less hungry ALL the time. As always please check with your doctor before starting ANY supplement or changing anything in your diet as these are all ONLY recommendations. We are ALL different BUT we can always find solutions to help us feel better none the less.
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