Head Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson from NutriCentre spoke to The Daily Telegraphy about where we could be making ourselves hungry and what’s making us hungry!

Carbs wonderful comforting carbs! 

The problem with eating carbs is all in the type your eating!

Eating a carbohydrate-heavy meal the night before may be causing you to be hungry the next day. When we overload on carbs, they are quickly absorbed into the body as sugars. The sugars cause a spike (of mainly glucose) causing a surge of insulin to be released. This is the hormone that stimulates our cells to take up glucose.” says Head Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson from NutriCentre. 

The result is that sugar is quickly removed from the blood, lack of sugar triggers hunger and you guessed it, more carbohydrate cravings.

The best ways to avoid this happening is to have exclude refined carbohydrates and replace with moderate servings of unrefined carbohydrates like potatoes, brown rice or quinoa. Add portions of protein like fish or chicken and non-starchy veges such as broccoli or other green veg. 

You’ll see improved digestion and carbohydrates absorbed slower and you’ll feel fuller for longer! 

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So not all carbs are bad!

Sleep wonderful sleep! 

What many of us don’t know is that lack of sleep can cause hunger.  

Sleeping for shorter periods of time have been found to reduce levels of leptin, another hormone that inhibits hunger. Instead, Shona says instead the hormone ghrelin, responsible for stimulating hunger, increases. 

Poor sleep leads to weight gain!

If your finding it hard to relax at the end of a busy day then magnesium supplements such as Quest Vitamins’ Synergistic Magnesium will relax your muscles to send you off to sleep. 

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Beautiful liquid water!

We all hear the recommendation of drinking 8 glasses of water a day and now you’ll know how being thirsty could actually be mistaken for hunger. 

Shona explains: “Water is also needed in order for our cells to make use of the nutrients in the food that we eat; and lack of nutrient availability causes our body to crave more food. This is another reason to make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day and not just when this craving strikes.

“Drinking water between meals also generally makes us feel fuller and can help to manage our appetite. It’s important, however, not to drink lots of water immediately before, during or after a meal: this dilutes the digestive juices and can have a negative impact on our digestion.”

It’s your glorious time of the month

Every woman knows she could be craving all kinds of crazy foods during her time of the month but they will have noticed an increase in appetite too. 

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Shona suggests: “To help balance your blood sugar levels and manage these cravings, it’s essential to focus on eating protein-containing foods with each meal (fish, meat, eggs, pulses, nuts and seeds), and minimise your intake of processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars.

It is also best to avoid alcohol and caffeine which have also been known to increase appetite. 

You’re eating for two

Everyone knows a woman’s appetite will increase during pregnancy because she’ll be ‘eating for two’ but experts say don’t be fooled into eating twice as much junk food. 

Shona says: “It is more important than ever to make healthy choices at this time. This means eating real, wholesome foods and avoiding processed and refined foods and too many sugary treats.

It’s best to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food and prepare healthy snacks in advance where ever possible. 

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