Here are the causes and solutions to that intense and insane hunger you feel after eating sugary junk foods or highly processed snacks.
It’s just so amazing that such crazy hunger follows wolfing down a generous helping of ANY kind of food — but there’s a reason for why this happens with so-called junk foods.
In fact, sometimes you’re even hungrier after eating junk food than before you took your first bite.
Cause of Intense Hunger After Eating Junk or Sugary Food
“The reason that processed foods tend to make us hungry, is because they are usually high in simple sugar content, high fructose corn syrup or high-glycemic carbohydrate,” says Richard Kelley, MD, a practicing physician in Texas for 20+ years, and author of “The Fitness Response,” “The Three-Hour Appetite” and the ebook, “The Fitness Response ‘Diet’ for Women.”
Dr. Kelley explains, “As these ‘foods’ tend to quickly elevate our blood glucose level, giving us a short-lived burst of energy and temporary satiation of our hunger, insulin is secreted in response.
“In doing the job it was intended to do, insulin drives excess blood glucose into the cells of the body, to be used either immediately or later for storage, and the resulting drop in blood glucose signals to the brain and the body that we are again hungry, often only hours after eating these type of processed ‘food’ products.”
Sometimes it’s even within the hour. Being hungry after eating a highly processed microwavable dinner has occurred to me within 30 minutes of the last mouthful!
Some of these dinners are loaded with added sugars and many factory-made ingredients. I stopped eating them many years ago; they were making me very hungry.
Junk food isn’t necessarily candy, donuts and cake. It can also be a frozen dinner, laden with simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup, plus synthetic additives that our bodies were not designed to properly metabolize.
It can be some cereals, too: glorified candy that you add milk to.
To help suppress the hunger response after eating junk food, eat about three ounces of poultry, fish, lamb or beef (not processed) right before you eat the junk food if the latter is a snack like a donut, brownie, cookies, etc. The protein will take the edge off the hunger.
As for a full meal that comes in a box — the best advice is to give these up. These junk dinners can induce severe hunger.
Dr. Kelley is a fitness enthusiast who is passionate about helping men and women lose weight with his program.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.