FEELING hungry or dissatisfied after a meal can be a common feeling – especially if you've started a new diet.
But there could be more to your hunger pangs than a sad salad or a disappointing dinner and one nutritionist has revealed how you can feel fuller for longer if you're trying to shift the pounds.
Lyndi Cohen said the best way to work out if you're full after a meal is to follow the "hat trick" technique.
Writing on her website, the social media star said: "Every single plate you serve up should have a serving of healthy fat like avocado, some slow-burning carbs like sweet potatoes and some lean protein.
"This humble hat-trick will help keep you feeling satisfied for a lot longer than avoiding carbs or fats altogether – and it'll also make sure you're getting the nutrients your body needs to be healthy."
We all know that sometimes our hunger could just actually be thirst – but there are other reasons why you might still be hungry after a meal.
Lyndi revealed the three things you should check before you reach for that extra snack.
1. Not enough balance
If your plate is perfectly balanced – it's more likely that the nutrients and food groups you are consuming are balanced too, Lyndi says.
She said you need to make sure that you are following the "hat trick" ratio in order to strike a good variation of foods.
And it's not just a balanced diet that Lyndi says helps.
Lyndi said that if you're craving foods then you shouldn't restrict yourself and should allow yourself to have a treat.
This way she says you avoid over indulging on unhealthy meals and snacks.
2. New flavours
It's easy to get into a mundane routine if you're trying to loose weight.
Porridge for breakfast, salad for lunch and chicken and veggies for dinner, while meals plans are a great way to guarantee a loss on the scales, Lyndi said that you could be hungry because your body needs to have a range of flavours.
Lyndi said introducing new flavours into your meals doesn't have to mean they are unhealthy.
She said: "There's something called sensory-specific satiety – and it may have something to do with why you always have room for dessert".
Lyndi said it's all about how interesting you find the food and added that if you eat the same things all of the time then this will have an impact on your weight loss.
She said if you always eat the same things then your body won't recognise any difference when you eat.
The dietitian said variety is key and added that even a mouthful of a new flavour could be enough to satisfy your pallet and keep hunger at bay.
3. You feel deprived
Let's face it, diets are hard work and can often leave us feeling like we are missing out on the good stuff.
Lyndi said: "If at the back of your mind, you feel like you’re not allowed to eat a certain food (like pasta or peanut butter straight from the jar), it will always seem "interesting" to you".
She added that as long as you consume everything in moderation then you should still be able to lose weight.
When it comes to hunger, Lyndi said there are a few things you should always keep in mind.
Posting to Instagram she said: "Some days you are hungrier because you NEED more energy.
"On these days, you will need to eat more to satisfy that hunger.
"You aren’t meant to eat the same amount every day. Especially before your period or if you exercised hard – you might feel extra hungry.
"Don’t fight it. Simply choose some options that will make your body feel good. After eating, ask yourself: am I still hungry? If so, have another healthy option. Keep checking in."
She added that while you will have days where you feel more hungry than usual, you will also have days where you don't want to eat much.
"On those days, your body needs less food and it’s healthy to eat according to that hunger", she added.
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