Hungry? Know how to calm hunger pangs

Hunger pangs strike at the wrong time, mostly before lunch or before dinner, ruining your appetite. They can even strike at night or an hour after you've eaten lunch. Owing to which, you end up gorging on unhealthy food. Experts give you healthy options to help you block those hunger pangs

You’ve probably experienced gnawing, painful feelings in your stomach at some point, in the upper left side of your abdomen. These are commonly known as hunger pangs. Hunger pangs, or hunger pains, are caused by strong contractions of the stomach when it’s empty. This uncomfortable sensation is often accompanied by hunger, or the desire to eat, say experts.

Experts tell you ways to stop those pesky hunger pangs. “Hunger pangs are brought on by stomach which sends signals to your brain to release hormone called ghrelin ‘hunger signal’ and once your stomach is full brain releases leptin hormone which is signal for satiety. It can occur during pregnancy, prediabetes, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), hormones, lack of sleep and under stressful conditions. So, keep a watch on weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood sugar and insulin levels,” explained Rutika Murudkar, a clinical nutritionist at Naraindas Morbai Budhrani trust.

Murudkar says:

  • Do not skip your breakfast. Eat calorie dense and protein rich breakfast
  • Focus on low GlycemicIndex (GI) foods
  • Take small and frequent meals

Experts also advise to undertake physical activity and to kick of that junk, spicy and oily food. “Hunger pangs occur due to faulty eating pattern. Dehydration can also be mistaken as hunger pangs. Plan your meals properly to avoid binging,” advised Pooja Udeshi, Sports nutritionist and certified diabetes educator and practicing at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

Udeshi informs:

  • Eat nuts – almond, walnut, apricot, prunes, dates, roasted makhana, kurmura, buttermilk, lime water, hummus with carrot or cucumber sticks
  • Chewing gum can also be an option
  • Drink a lot of water