By Lauren Denos: 10/6/2014 (Nutrition)

Are you one of the many that has a super-big appetite? The one who never quite gets full, eats two breakfasts, and has many snacks throughout the day?

There are many issues that can cause this constant hunger. Boredom, depression, and a host of many other emotions. But there is one cause that many people do not think about. The lack of nutrients. If your body is not getting the appropriate amount of nutrition from your food, then your body will keep asking for more and more, even if you are full.

You’re probably thinking that you get plenty of food and calories in your diet, but, unfortunately, it is not the same thing as getting enough nutrients in your diet. In fact, much of the American diet is nutrient-deficient. We tend to eat things that are so refined, filled with added fat (not the good kind) and added flavorings to make our food palatable. In addition to all of this working against us, many people are adverse to eating vegetables (and no, fruit does not count towards your vegetable quota).

In order to get the proper nutrition, you need to get the appropriate amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. The amounts you need are specific for you. For some people, they need 6oz of protein. For others, it is 1oz. Still others need more carbohydrates, and some do better with eating a higher quantity of vegetables for their carbohydrate intake. It is so individualized that we are not going to go over exact amounts you should have, but we will talk about the categories you should be including.

Eat Your greens

Get in a variety of vegetables and get in at least ½ cup per meal. Aim for a variety of cooked and raw. Salads are great if they are not laden down with cheese, creamy dressings and croutons. You can make a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or sesame oil and ½ of a fresh squeezed orange. Cook a large pot of fresh broccoli, zucchini, green beans, etc. and then eat that over the next couple days. More vegetables is a good thing, but remember that you can still eat too much of them. So, if you choose to eat 2 or 3 cups of vegetables with each meal -- great! The point is to, at least, get some in, and eat what you can of them.

Have Good Quality Protein

Have at least one ounce of good quality protein with each meal. This can be fish, chicken, buffalo, lean beef, or lean pork. If you are vegetarian, you can have your beans, lentils, or protein powder. Keep in mind that while beans do have protein in them that they are mainly a carbohydrate, which is fine. Just remember count it as both for your meal.

Get in Good Quality Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are the ones that take longer to digest in our system. What this means is that it gets processed in your body at a slower, steady pace. The simple carbohydrates are the ones that shoot into your blood stream for instant energy. However, the problem is that so many people do mostly simple carbohydrates. As a result, they have too much sugar in their systems which develops into blood sugar problems. Complex carbohydrates are the ones that are less refined like: brown rice, old-fashioned or steel cut oats, yams, sweet potatoes, whole grains (and I mean the WHOLE grain, not a whole grain bread), beans, and vegetables.

Take a Good Supplement

A good high quality supplement can make a huge difference for many people. If you do not know what you need, your best bet is to talk to a health care professional. Although, if you are not wanting to go to the doctor, then at least go to your local health food store or vitamin shop and tell them what your needs are. Many of them can be a wealth of knowledge, and there is such a vast range of supplements available. Also, don't just go for a cheap one you find at the regular grocery store. Rather, you want to make sure you get one that is bio-available and will actually do something for you. A good supplement can help you have better energy, stamina, mental clarity, and more. This does not mean that you should take a supplement and keep eating garbage. It is called a supplement because it is just that: something to supplement your diet with, not a diet replacement.

Fix Gut Issues

If you are getting in a good amount of vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, high-quality vitamins, and are still feeling a never ending hunger, then you may be dealing with a leaky gut issue. Leaky Gut can be caused by stress, allergies, etc. If you have Leaky Gut Syndrome, even if you are eating the right food your intestine may not be absorbing the nutrients in your food.

There are supplements you can take that can be used to help with Leaky Gut issues, in addition to enhancing techniques to decrease stress. You can read about all of this info on the link above. In addition to all of that, it may be beneficial to start juicing. When you juice, it takes the fiber out of the vegetables and just leaves the nutrient-dense juice.

When we talk about juicing, we are talking about vegetables. You should keep the fruit content very low. While juicing does create a nutrient-dense drink, juicing fruit takes away the fiber which, in turn, creates an intense shot of sugar to your system. This could cause even bigger problems in the future.

When you juice, focus on non-sweet vegetables: cucumber, celery, parsley, cilantro, ginger, garlic, lettuce, wheat grass, beets, etc. This will give you the needed variety of healthy vegetables in the diet so you can also get an important mix of vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids.

If you are like many people who have a never-ending hunger and never feel satisfied, then look at your diet and see where you can improve. You can start with changing just a couple things, and see what difference it can make. You have nothing to lose, and it may just be the ticket you have been looking for.



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