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Hungry all the time? It’s your blood sugar, not your appetite
Are you one of those people who seems to be hungry all the time?
Do you find yourself eating just an hour or two after a big meal?
Has losing weight been a challenge, no matter how carefully you eat?
Changes in your body’s blood sugar levels after you eat have a lot to do with how soon you feel hungry again. And this is different for everyone.
Recently, researchers have figured out that the way we’ve been looking at post-prandial (after-meal) blood sugar hasn’t been as helpful as it could be.
If you’ve had trouble losing weight, this research may hold some answers for you.
‘Big dippers’ have a hard time losing weight
A research team at Kings College London has shown that people who experience big dips in blood sugar levels, several hours after eating, end up feeling hungrier than people who experience only small dips.
These ‘big dippers’ end up consuming hundreds more calories during the day than those whose blood sugar only dips slightly.
“Many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off, and just a few hundred extra calories every day can add up to several pounds of weight gain over a year,” says Professor Ana Valdes from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham.
“Our discovery that the size of sugar dips after eating has such a big impact on hunger and appetite has great potential for helping people understand and control their weight and long-term health.”
Controlling blood sugar is key
The research team on this study also included scientists from Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Nottingham, Leeds University, and Lund University in Sweden.
For two weeks, the team collected detailed data about blood sugar responses from 1,070 people after they ate a standardized breakfast, as well as a breakfast of their own choosing, totaling more than 8,000 breakfasts in all.
Previous studies had looked at a phenomenon known as a blood sugar ‘peak,’ where blood sugar levels rise and fall in the first two hours after a meal.
In this study, however, the researchers noticed that some people experienced significant sugar ‘dips,’ where their blood sugar levels fell rapidly below baseline before rising again. This occurred anywhere from two to four hours after the initial ‘sugar peak.’
Based on their data, the study authors found that these dips in blood sugar are a better predictor of after-meal hunger than the initial peak in blood sugar.
Eat to control blood sugar, feel full and lose weight
Lead author Patrick Wyatt is pretty excited about these findings.
“This study shows how wearable technology can provide valuable insights to help people understand their unique biology and take control of their nutrition and health.”
“By demonstrating the importance of sugar dips, our study paves the way for data-driven, personalized guidance for those seeking to manage their hunger and calorie intake in a way that works with rather than against their body.”
Foods that are filling are high in protein and fiber. They typically contain a lot of water, and little fat.
Some examples of these foods are:
- Boiled potatoes
- Cottage cheese
Coconut oil is another good choice. It’s loaded with fatty acids known as medium-chain triglycerides, which are reported to reduce appetite.
Eggs, oats, and nuts are also good choices if you want to regulate your blood sugar. So are pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, lentils, avocados and berries.
Notice, there isn’t a processed food in sight here! If you stick to foods like those listed above, you’ll be eating a diet that’s healthy in more ways than one!
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Study Reveals Why Some of Us Are Hungry All the Time — Neuroscience News
Postprandial glycaemic dips predict appetite and energy intake in healthy individuals — Nature Metabolism
15 Foods That Are Incredibly Filling — Healthline
The 17 Best Foods to Lower (or Regulate) Your Blood Sugar — Healthline