Why Am I Starving So Early After Breakfast
Every morning I eat my breakfast of organic whole grain cereal, skim milk and blueberries. I’m trying to be healthy, but when I get to work an hour later I’m already starving. I feel like I have such a big appetite! What can I do?
First I want to say that what you are experiencing is extremely common. I would say that the majority of my nutrition clients come to me with this exact issue. And I understand why – eating a breakfast of organic cereal, skim milk, and blueberries seems like the “perfect” healthy breakfast straight out of all the diet books and magazines.
But often this meal leaves us with a blood sugar spike – a fast rise in blood sugar that falls quickly and leaves us feeling hungry soon after. This situation is the common paradox that occurs when we try to eat healthy: FIRST we change our breakfast to one with “healthier” ingredients. BUT because these “healthier” ingredients are missing some important components, we feel unsatisfied soon after eating. THEN we end up eating more than usual. And EVENTUALLY we feel guilty for being “a person with a big appetite”. How does this happen?
Let’s take a closer look at the breakfast…
Organic Whole Grain Cereal = A complex carbohydrate with fiber – often has added sugar (cane sugar is just another name for sugar) which is a simple carbohydrate.
Skim Milk = A simple carbohydrate with the fat removed.
Blueberries = A simple carbohydrate (with an abundance of antioxidants).
What we have here are a lot of carbohydrates. Energy-providing and essential to the functioning of the body, carbohydrates are made of sugar. When sugar enters the body it eventually reaches the blood stream thereby causing a rise in blood sugar. Now a rise in blood sugar is not a bad thing – it is what gives energy to the body. It is when blood sugar rises too fast that is becomes a problem. Refined sugars, such as white sugar and brown sugar, cause the biggest spike. Simple sugars, such as those in honey and fruit, are next on the list, and complex carbs, such as whole grains, are last because their linked sugars take time to break down.
What can you do to slow down the rise of blood sugar? How can you feel satisfied for longer after a meal? Three words: fiber, fat, and protein. These three magic nutrients are the answer. Let’s take a closer look at the breakfast and see what can be done to add these three so it lasts longer…
Organic Whole Grain Cereal:
- Contains fiber so will help
- Some have sugar added so look for cereals that do not have “cane sugar”, “cane juice”, “organic cane sugar”
- OR cook your own hot cereal using whole grains such as oats, amaranth, or millet (have a lot of fiber and are not refined or processed)
- Or consider eating eggs when you really need your meal to last (contain fat and protein)
- Made of simple sugars with the fat removed
- An excellent alternative is a plain, whole fat (as nature intended), non-homogenized yogurt – the fat will help slow down the release of the simple sugars AND the yogurt will provide probiotics to help your digestion
- A fantastic source of antioxidants and fiber
- I wouldn’t change a thing here BUT I would consider adding one of the following ingredients to help the meal be even more satisfying:
- Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans
- Flax, hemp or pumpkin seeds
- Coconut flakes
Do not be afraid of adding fat, protein and fiber to your diet. In the end, if you listen to your body’s hunger signals and eat when you’re hungry and finish when you’re satisfied, you will end up eating less – and enjoy the process much more along the way!
What Your Food Cravings Really Mean
Ever had a craving you just can’t shake? Is there only one particular food that can always pull you out of an emotional rut? Have you ever wondered where the phrase “Eat your feelings” even comes from?
Of course you have! You’re only human! Most people accept food cravings as a normal part of everyday life without really ever asking “why?” No two bodies are the same, and therefore no two reasons behind a specific food craving are the same. While some may be rooted in nutritional deficits – others may be a deeper signal from our Spirit echoing throughout our bodies.
Your mind, body, and Spirit communicate through an intricate language, which isn’t always easy to decipher. However, with a little effort, you can translate these signals and create the harmony needed for improved health.
For most, we’ve been taught to “overcome” our bodily cues. For example, when a person has a headache, they’re taught to reach for the Advil bottle rather than lying down and drinking lots of water. However, no matter how much you resent, ignore, or overlook your bodily cues – they’re not going to go away.
When looking at food cravings specifically, emotions are one of the most common causes of overeating. Our cravings tend to manifest themselves when we’re feeling vulnerable. Rather than expressing our emotions, we tend to stuff them down with “comfort foods” that give our bodies a false sense of fulfillment. After a while, your body learns this routine and sends cravings in order to create a short-term boost of chemical components. By deciphering the real meaning of your cravings, you can get insight as to what’s truly gnawing at you from within.
Having some knowledge about what our cravings can mean, may help us to reduce unhealthy habits and poor food choices. The following are the three most commonly craved food flavors, and a starting point for you to decrypt what your mind, body, and Spirit are really trying to tell you.