how to control hunger and fight off the comfort food cravings

by team nuut

got the munchies - again? stress, low blood sugar, an overactive thyroid and hormonal imbalances can trigger annoying hunger pangs and comfort food cravings. most of the time, though, they are simply a sign that your body needs food for energy, usually when you've been super active or haven't eaten for a few hours.

however, if you feel hungry constantly or shortly after eating, it's worth looking closely at what you're putting on your plate. refined carbs and foods high in sugar but low in protein, fibre and essential fats don't even touch the sides and can leave you ravenous. or perhaps you need to sleep better or fit in more exercise?

team nuut dives deep into the hows and whys of hunger pangs and why sometimes we crave buttery mashed potatoes or chocolate ice-cream at the strangest of times.

sleep, hunger pangs & hormones

sleep deprivation messes with your hormones, the chemicals that act as messengers, sending signals from one part of the body to another. two hormones are known to be important for regulating our motivation to eat: ghrelin and leptin. ghrelin (often called the hunger hormone) cause us to feel hungry, and leptin makes us feel full. in other words, ghrelin is our signal to eat, and leptin tells us when to stop. with research showing that even a single night of sleep deprivation changes the levels of our hunger and appetite hormones, there’s never been a better reason to head to bed! without 7 - 9 hours of high-quality sleep a night, it is hard to keep ghrelin and leptin in check, and they can become unbalanced, which leads to cravings and increased appetite. also, when we’re sleep-deprived, we can feel sluggish and less motivated to exercise and get moving in the morning. this can cause poor food choices that see us picking sweet, sugary and fatty foods over healthier options.

eat a nourishing breakfast

super strict dieting may seem like the fastest path to dropping kilos, but most fail in the long run. yes, the weight may fall off quickly, but it also comes back just as fast. breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day because it gives us sustenance and energy for whatever the day has in store for us. so, instead of restricting your body, start every day with a breakfast that gives your body everything it needs. it will not only break your overnight fast but refuel glycogen (energy) stores, kick start your metabolism, provide essential nutrients, boost fibre and calcium intake, reduce the chances of over-consuming high kilojoule foods later in the day, and stabilise blood sugar levels. best of all? it fills you up!

mornings can be hectic, and making a proper breakfast can sometimes feel impossible. keep it simple by avoiding carbohydrate bombs like pastries, cereal and muffins and instead, add a sachet of clean nuut plant-based protein powder to nut milk, dates, oats and peanut butter for the ultimate protein-powered breakfast on the go. its combination of clean protein and fibre will keep you full and satisfied until lunch and even encourage you to make healthier food choices for the rest of the day. we also love to scramble a couple of eggs and serve on wholegrain toast or add plain greek yoghurt to a bowl of fresh fruit and nuts. check out our recipesfor more deliciously satisfying breakfasts to kick off your day.

move your body everyday

studiesshow that daily exercise can curb your appetite thanks to lac-phe, a hybrid of two naturally existing chemical compounds in our bodies, lactate and phenylalanine, which reduces hunger and food intake. after working out, your stomach can feel like it's the size of a pea: that's lac-phe in action! this incredible molecule, says scientists, may even hold the key to kickstarting the process in people with metabolic disease.

simply eat less

portion control is key to smashing weight management goals, curbing comfort food cravings and dramatically decreasing your overall daily calorie intake. feeling satiated (that wonderfully satisfied feeling of fullness), affects how much you eat. minimising your portions and replacing meals with protein shakes helps train your mind to think your body only needs that amount of food. it won’t happen right away, but within a few days of eating smaller portions or drinking vegan protein powder shakes you will find that you need to eat less. 

ditch the takeaway

when you prepare your own meals, you know exactly what goes into every bite and how well you are fuelling your body. whole foods, grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean meats are filling, low in calories, and take longer to digest, so their energy is provided in usable amounts throughout the day. takeaways and junk food dump all that energy at once, causing your body to store the extra fat, making you feel tired and “hangry”. too busy to make lunch for work and find yourself hitting up your local café? australian keto shakes and nuut plant-based protein powder is a simple meal on the go. add avocado, cauliflower, hemp seeds or nuts and amp up its protein quota, so you are full and happy until dinner time. shop your perfect nuut plant-based protein powder blend nowand get busy in the kitchen.

eat more fibre

prioritising high-fibre carbs on low-carb days is the route to take when it comes to filling up, as wholegrain carbohydrates are a rich source of fibre that is good for satiety, cholesterol control, and a happy, well-functioning gut. when you increase your fibre intake, do so slowly and sip fluids while eating. it helps the fibre to work through your body better and prevents dreaded gas and bloating. add hemp, flax, chia, or psyllium husks into smoothies or baking. start with a teaspoon daily and work up to two tablespoons. when psyllium and chia seeds are mixed with water, they swell, making you feel full. try adding a tablespoon of chia seeds and vegan protein powder to a chia pudding as the ultimate fibre and protein-rich snack and eat more higher-fibre foods with high water content, too, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

keto & (no) hunger pangs

follow the keto diet and find you’re no longer “hangry”? it’s one of the reason it is one of the world’s most popular eating styles! one of the best-known side effects of the keto diet is ketosis, a state in which the metabolism goes from using carbohydrates as fuel to burning fats instead, which results in a loss of appetite. essentially, it is a state of controlled starvation that causes your body to create more efficient fuels that aren’t so readily available when there is an abundance of carbohydrates. want to try the keto diet? stock up on nuut’s australian keto shakes that make following this effective eating style a cinch, or give our keto meal plan a go. designed by a nutritional expert, it includes satisfying keto recipes and australian-made keto shakes that are designed to nourish your body and crush hunger pangs.

slow down! you're eating too fast.

it can take at least 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is comfortable and that you should stop eating. when you chew slowly instead of inhaling your food, the brain can catch up with the stomach, and you're less likely to overeat, which is a great way to cut back on calories. naturally, a fast eater? shake a thick smoothie made of nuut plant-based protein powder blended with nut milk, ice and a scoop of almond butter for a long, slow, satisfying sip.

drink more water

hunger pangs can sometimes be mistaken as thirst, so we reach for a snack when really what our body is craving is a long glass of water. if you are dehydrated, it means you have an electrolyte imbalance and your body is holding onto water which is why sometimes you make look a little bloated. water helps rebalance electrolytes and reduces fluid retention.

we get it – plain water can taste a little boring, so try adding ice and fresh citrus, or a sachet of nuut vegan protein powder and you’ll not only be drenching your body with hydration but whole food nutrients as well.

good-bye cravings

so, now we know we can keep hunger pangs and comfort food cravings at bay by following a nutrient-dense diet of nourishing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and nuut vegan protein powder. because when macronutrients like proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats combine, they crush hunger pangs with a lower calorie intake for a healthier, fitter, more rested you.