A few friends of mine have recently kicked up their workouts a notch and now always feel hungry, even if they have just finished a meal. I used to struggle with this myself, but I think I have got it worked out now. I realized that it was all about eating the right foods at the right time.
I know that in order to keep myself full, healthy, energetic, and NOT cranky, I have to maintain a good balance of proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. For me that means 40% of my calories come from protein, 40% from complex carbs, and 40% from healthy fat. For my body, age, and activity level, that means about 150-170g of protein, 100-150g of carbs, and 35-40g of healthy fats. My Fitness Pal can help you figure out whats right for you.I also make sure that I drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some days its almost a gallon.
It's very important to eat within 30 minutes after completing a workout. The body is still burning calories and is looking for ways to restore and repair those muscles that were used during your workout. For this meal, it is suggested that you get a good balance of complex carbs and protein. If the timing is right, this is when I usually eat my biggest meal of the day. Today it was a turkey burger (no bun), a sweet potato, raw asparagus, and yogurt dip.
Healthy fats play a very important rule in keeping you full. When I find myself hungry, it's usually because I have not had enough fats that day. I'll grab a handful of almonds or a portion of avocado dressed with salt and lime.
The fiber from raw veggies also help keep me full, so I like to eat a lot of raw veggies with this yogurt dip.
Speaking of yogurt, I have found that adding a moderate amount of dairy (I don't consume a lot of dairy) keeps me full. I like Chiobani yogurt or any low fat cottage cheese. Be careful when eating yogurt. Try to choose brands that do not have a lot of sugar.
I find that if I am craving sugar, I did not have enough carbs that day. I will usually have a piece of Ezekiel toast with a natural nut butter or a sweet potato with a tablespoon of nut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Here is a list of staples I keep in my kitchen broken down into categories. I hope you find it helpful: