Afternoon hunger cravings are said to be diet killers. Imagine finding yourself having the munchies at 3 PM. No matter how hard you try to resist, you will probably find the impulse to head to the kitchen, pantry, snack machine or cafeteria for a bite.
Afternoon cravings are usually a normal part of one’s day, especially for professionals working in a stressful environment or students finishing a grueling school day. The main concern with the afternoon munchies is how to address them. You might not necessarily be able to prevent having hunger cravings in the afternoon, but you can address them in a way that is a bit healthier than by going to the snack machine and buying chips or candy bars.
In some cases, being hungry in the afternoon is a signal that your body is getting low on blood sugar. This means you have to address the need without necessarily loading up on carbohydrates (and therefore, fats).
Drink water. Sometimes the body confuses between signals for thirst and hunger. You can usually make hunger pangs go away by drinking a glass of water. Make sure you are drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses per day. You really need to keep hydrated especially during hot summer months.
Don’t miss out on breakfast. Breakfast is an important meal because your body doesn’t get to consume anything while you’re asleep at nighttime. If you miss breakfast, then your body might not be getting enough nutrients throughout the day. You might feel hunger pangs after lunchtime. To avoid this, eat a full breakfast every morning before school or work.
Munch on fruits or nuts. Rather than snack on chocolate bars, potato chips or other salty and sweet foods stuffs, you can instead munch on an apple, peel an orange, or eat a banana. These are healthy snacks. They provide you with energy and enough dietary fiber. Nuts are also a good source of good fats. Nuts also suppress the stomach’s production of Ghrelin, a chemical released by the stomach, which tells the brain that your body is hungry.
Eat snacks. Eating only three meals per day would usually make you hungry in between. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have snacks in between your meals. Afternoon cravings are just natural. You will only binge more during dinnertime if you don’t get something to eat at snacktime. Just make sure these are healthy snacks, like fruits, full grain snacks, and the like.
Ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Some people aren’t used to the idea of snacking in the afternoon. You will need to ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re just bored. Many people eat out of boredom. If you’re bored, why not do something else? During your coffee break, try to stretch and walk around. Try walking around the block, or running some errands. By the time you finish, you won’t be hungry anymore. However, if you’re really hungry, then it doesn’t make sense to deprive yourself of much needed food and energy.
Basically, the cure for afternoon hunger cravings is to eat. However, you will have to watch what you eat, to make sure you don’t load up on too much carbohydrates. Go for healthy foods and satisfy your body’s need for energy.