Ultimately, aside from personal enjoyment, the purpose of food is to provide sustenance and fill you up. Whether you consider eating a hobby or a bit of an annoyance, it’s goal is to immediately address an acute need which is hunger.
Yet there are actually foods out there that will make you more hungry, leading to chronic overeating and hundreds of extra calories. You may even be eating these foods on a daily basis. Their effects are often subtle and gradual.
They may satiate your hunger in the short term, but in the end, they will lead you to eat significantly more over the long run. If you are watching your weight or simply don’t want to be tricked into over-consuming, avoid these foods whenever possible.
Monosodium glutamate has long been a controversial food additive. It is primarily used to enhance flavor and as a preservative, and is most commonly found in foods such as Ramen Noodles and some ethnic Asian dishes, as well as various potato and tortilla chips (perhaps causing the “you can’t just eat one” phenomenon).
MSG has the unfortunate side effect of dropping your blood sugar abruptly, which causes you to actually become hungrier. The high levels of sodium in foods that contain MSG don’t help either; the combination has actually been linked to a wide variety of health problems. It’s best if you avoid monosodium glutamate altogether.
In nature, humans never had unlimited access to large amounts of sugar (much less refined and simple sugars). So when companies began figuring out ways to over load snack foods with sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, they were delighted to find that consumers can actually become addicted.
Foods high in sugar actually stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain, essentially turning off the switch in your head that tells you that you are full. Not only will you overeat because of this “short circuit”, you’ll also find yourself hungry just an hour later after your blood sugar levels crash back down to normal levels. Unless you have immaculate self control, these foods should be jettisoned from your diet.
Fried foods do not necessarily make you hungrier, but they do add a significant amount of calories and fat to your diet without any corresponding substance. You won’t be any less hungry by eating a fried chicken breast over a grilled chicken breast, but you will have consumed hundreds more calories. If you are counting calories, this is a no-brainer.
Alcohol is capable of both making you hungrier and making you eat things that you would never eat sober. It generates the same insulin response as foods high in sugar and MSG, and simultaneously lowers your inhibitions resulting in the metaphorical midnight trip to Taco Bell when you’re supposed to be on a strict diet.
This problem is compounded as alcohol is generally very high in calories to begin with. Very few of these calories are biologically useful. When all is said and done, a night of drinking can easily result in a surplus of a thousand or more calories.