Sometimes it comes over you, this incredible appetite out of nowhere. Even though you’ve eaten well and should be full, it catches you like a fit, which is why people sometimes talk about a gluttony.
Of course there are also medical causes for eating fits. Especially if they recur frequently and take uncontrolled forms or are accompanied by vomiting, they can be caused by an eating disorder, which you should have treated immediately under medical supervision. In this case you will find initial support from the Federal Centre for Health Education.
This article is about the non-pathological form of the munchies that can affect you from time to time in your everyday life. There are simple remedies for this, if you only see through the causes and arm yourself against it.
Why am I having a munchies?
In most cases, classic ravenous appetite is the trigger, preferably in the office in the afternoon or on the sofa in the evening. Suddenly you develop an irrepressible appetite despite sufficient food intake. This usually happens because your blood sugar level drops, which signals the brain that there is a lack of nutrients, especially sugar!
More about the causes of ravenous appetite
How does an overeating attack occur?
For example, the blood sugar level drops when there is a lot of glucose in the blood after a carbohydrate-rich meal. In order to remove this and convert it into energy, the body must release insulin.
Less carbohydrates, more protein, this also prevents ravenous appetite, for example a tomato and mozzarella salad. © Dmitry Dreyer / Unsplash
Consequence: The blood sugar level drops again due to the insulin. If there was a lot of sugar in the blood, the massive insulin output causes the glucose level in the blood to drop below normal. The brain registers this as an acute lack of fuel and gives an alarm. In other words: ravenous hunger!
What else leads to an overeating attack?
The appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin may be responsible for the sudden huge appetite. The more ghrelin your body releases, the more hungry you feel. The problem: If you eat less, for example due to a change in diet, your body produces more ghrelin.
What can I do against munchies?
You have already taken the first important step by recognizing the problem and thinking about it. This creates an awareness of it, and this helps you to be aware of alarm signals in the future and to take preventive measures.
There are various strategies and tricks to avoid ravenous attacks without going hungry for even a minute. With these tips you will still stay full and prevent overeating.
1) Potatoes reduce cravings
For years, everyone gave them a wide berth, because the tubers were considered dangerous fatteners. Unjustly so, believes nutritionist Astrid Schobert from Bonn. “Potatoes are a valuable, natural foodstuff. They have few calories, contain almost no fat, but instead a lot of fibre, high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals as well as secondary plant substances.
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The starch in the potato, which used to be viewed critically, even provides a long-lasting feeling of satiety, as it is slowly digested and thus prevents a rapid emptying of the stomach. “Potatoes only become the enemy of the figure when they are greasy chips or crisps,” says Schobert.
2) Protein for breakfast prevents munchies
It is no secret that proteins fill you up quickly and for a long time. According to a study by the University of Missouri, however, the time when you eat protein-rich foods is the most important factor. And that should be first thing in the morning. If you eat eggs and dairy products for breakfast, you tend to eat less during the day and suffer less from cravings.
Hormone expert Professor Andreas Pfeiffer, Director of Endocrinology at the Berlin Charité, says: “In the morning our insulin level is generally slightly elevated. Anyone who then eats a lot of carbohydrates in the form of bread and jam risks an excessive release of insulin, which quickly triggers feelings of hunger again”. Omelet, cottage cheese and cottage cheese are clearly the better choice.
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3) Odour activates saturation signals
Studies show that aromas can curb appetite by activating satiety signals in the brain. People who smell peppermint oil every 2 hours consume about 380 calories less per day. Banana, apple and vanilla scents also have this appetite-suppressing effect. So, give me the scented oils!
Underestimated as healthy fillers: potatoes. © Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
4) Intensive training reduces cravings
Step on the pedals and thus also on the appetite brake. Because: “Intensive sport drives away hunger,” says Professor Kuno Hottenrott, Director of the Institute for Performance Diagnostics and Health Promotion at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.
Explanation: “After training, the body is busy reducing the functional systems back to normal levels. It breaks down increased metabolic products like lactate. During this time, there is no hunger.”
Important: Only sports that increase your core body temperature, such as indoor cycling, running and squash, have this effect. Swimming, skiing and snowboarding tend to increase your appetite. “This is probably due to the cold stimulus,” says the sports scientist.
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5) Olive oil inhibits the appetite
Scientists from the USA and Italy found that oleic acid from olive oil inhibits the appetite. In the digestive tract it releases a substance called oleylethanolamide, or OEA …free, which will curb hunger.
Oleic acid, which is contained in olive oil, among other things, inhibits the appetite. © Lisovskaya Natalia / Shutterstock.com
This oleic acid is also found in avocados and nuts. But beware: too many oils or fats, even the good unsaturated ones, guarantee extra pounds! The German Society for Nutrition (DGE ) therefore advises to take up 30 percent of the energy through fat.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
6) Chocolate makes you happy and satisfied
A day without chocolate is a lost day for you? Then don’t torture yourself! Because if you force yourself to give up, but end up getting weak and taking half a bar, you will be terribly frustrated. So treat yourself to a piece, but celebrate it properly.
Make sure not to eat the chocolate on an empty stomach, but as a small dessert after the main meal. Otherwise there will be strong fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which will encourage the next ravenous appetite.
Healthy desserts with maximum 5 ingredients
7) Grapefruit keeps the insulin level constant
Grapefruit is not only low in calories – the bitter substances contained in citrus fruit lower the blood sugar level after a meal and at the same time stimulate digestion and metabolism. You are full longer and feel less ravenous.
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If you want to maintain your weight or lose a few kilos, overeating attacks are your enemy. With our 7 simple tricks you won’t give munchies and ravenous appetite a chance.