Written by Tangela Kindell, Nutritionist, FH Community Manager
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s our first source of nourishment and hydration. It’s the meal that can help set the pattern of our diet quality, appetite, and food choices for the rest of the day. Not to mention, it’s the cure for early morning hanger (hunger + anger). You get up early to eat a delicious breakfast and conquer the day but, suddenly, hunger strikes back shortly after your morning meal! What’s the deal? According to recent research, sleep, stress, and an insufficient breakfast can cause you to still feel hungry after breakfast. Read on for tips on how to keep morning hunger at bay.
Go to Bed Earlier. Did you know that late-night Netflix binges may affect your appetite and cravings the next morning, even after eating a good breakfast? Research suggests that even short-term sleep loss can result in significantly increased hunger and constant cravings, especially those sugary and salty. Get your Zs by setting a sleep alert on your phone 7-9 hours before you need to wake up the next morning. That’s your cue to get to bed.
Reduce Stress. Studies suggest that both short and long-term stress can stimulate appetite and increase cravings for sugar and refined carbs, which can often lead to long-lasting hunger or overeating. End your night with a stress-relieving bath, stretch, or journaling session before bed to support your hunger cues in two ways at once.
Eat More at Breakfast. How do you define breakfast? Is it a cup of coffee as you rush out the door? A piece of toast, a granola bar, or a slice of last night’s pizza? Not eating enough calories at breakfast means you’ll be hungry and more motivated to eat far before your lunch break. Studies also suggest that eating too little may make you more reactive to stress. Pressed for time in the morning? Prep a hearty breakfast including complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats the night before. A quick tip: Add oats, milk, and cinnamon to a container and stir gently. Cover and put in the refrigerator before bed for quick-and-easy overnight oats in the morning. Top with your favorite fruit, nuts, or other toppings before you dig in.
Sources: PMC4214609, PMC6215927, PMC6470707, PMC3763921