12 Foods That Leave You Hungry

A croissant is a tasty treat, but it's filled with largely empty calories.


Flaky, buttery, and perfect with your morning latte. But they score really low on the satiety index, a measure of how well a food satisfies your hunger. There's not much in them that's good for you, and they're loaded with fat and white flour. That gives you more calories without leaving you satisfied. If you want a breakfast that will last you to lunch, a poached egg on whole-grain toast should do the trick.

Low-fat dairy may contain extra sweeteners that spike your blood sugar, but it won't make you feel full.

Low-Fat Yogurt

The more you chew a food, the more it satisfies. By that measure, yogurt doesn't rate well. And the low-fat version often has sweeteners that can spike your blood sugar without the dairy fat that can help you feel full. Try plain, full-fat yogurt with granola, fresh berries, and nuts instead: More fiber, more chewing, and more satisfaction.

A muffin offers the same nutrition as a piece of cake, so all it provides is flour, sugar, and fat.


Ever wonder about the difference between having a muffin or a piece of cake for breakfast? In terms of nutrition, there isn't much. They're both full of refined white flour, sugar, and fat -- a perfect way to pack in the calories without satisfying your hunger. Calling it a muffin doesn't make it a better morning choice.

Basmati or brown rice are better choices than white rice, which spikes and crashes blood sugar.

White Rice

It can spike -- and then crash -- your blood sugar, which makes you hungry again. Choose basmati rice or brown rice instead. They aren't as likely to cause that roller coaster reaction. And don't overcook it.

Egg whites are devoid of the complete protein contained within egg yolks.

Egg Whites

If you leave out the orange-yellow goodness in the middle of the egg to lose calories, it won't leave you feeling satisfied. That's because the yolk is nature's "complete protein" thanks to amino acids, which your body uses to build cells. And recent research shows that the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in a whole egg isn't likely to be bad for you.

Artificially sweetened foods affect your blood sugar and make you hungrier.

Cereals With Artificial Sweeteners

They lurk in some cereals -- especially the ones labeled "reduced sugar." Artificially sweetened foods can affect your blood sugar and actually make you hungrier. This may be because when you get the sweet taste without the calories, your body is still looking for those calories.

Fruit juice spikes your blood sugar much more than whole fruit, which contains fiber.

Fruit Juice

It doesn't have any of the fiber of the fruit it came from, which is a big reason apples and grapes make you feel full and slow the flow of sugar into your bloodstream. Without fiber, your blood sugar can quickly spike and then crash, and make you hungry.

Choose whole grain bread that is high in fiber and nutrients unlike empty white bread.

White Bread

It doesn't have the fiber or nutrients of whole grains that can make you feel full. There's an easy solution here: Eat whole-grain bread instead. You have a lot of kinds to choose from -- whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye, and even multi-grain. Try a few, and see what works for you.

Baked and boiled potatoes are preferred over French fries, which are loaded with fat and salt.

French Fries

It's a shame really: Bake or boil your potatoes and they'll satisfy your hunger better than most foods on the planet. But fry them up in oil and cover them in salt, and they lose most of their power. And they typically have more fat and salt than plain potatoes, too.

Alcohol is empty calories and you're more likely to overeat when you drink.


You have a couple of drinks with friends at the local watering hole, and suddenly it doesn't seem important to stick to your dinner plan of steamed fish and broccoli. Bring on the burger with extra cheese -- and don't forget the fries. It's not just you: Studies show that when you drink alcohol, you're likely to eat more calories.

Doughnuts are loaded with white flour, sugar, and empty calories that will leave you feeling hungry.


It's a sugar bomb that piles on the calories without any nutrition. The white flour breaks down quickly into sugar, and the glaze adds more to spike and crash your blood sugar. Combine that with almost zero nutritional value, and you'll be hungry again in no time.

Drinking soda increases your caloric intake for the day, but it makes you hungry or keeps you from feeling full.


The research is clear: People who drink soda get more calories in a day. Scientists think this may be because it makes you hungry or keeps you from feeling full in some way. Another theory is that the sugar in soda makes your sweet tooth even sweeter.



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  • American Diabetes Association: "Glycemic Index and Diabetes."
  • European Journal of Nutrition: "The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease."
  • Garvan Institute: "Why artificial sweeteners can increase appetite."
  • LiveScience: "Why Fructose-Laden Drinks May Leave You Wanting More," "Stealth Assault on Health: Beverages Pack Calorie Punch," "Eating Fast May Make You Fat."
  • National Institutes of Health: "Increasing the number of masticatory cycles is associated with reduced appetite and altered postprandial plasma concentrations of gut hormones, insulin and glucose," "The effects of equal-energy portions of different breads on blood glucose levels, feelings of fullness and subsequent food intake," "Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," "Does alcohol stimulate appetite and energy intake?" "The effects of a priming dose of alcohol and drinking environment on snack food intake," "Reducing Childhood Obesity by Eliminating 100% Fruit Juice," "Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome," "Effect of variety and cooking method on resistant starch content of white rice and subsequent postprandial glucose response and appetite in humans," "Glycaemic index of some commercially available rice and rice products in Great Britain," "Increasing the number of masticatory cycles is associated with reduced appetite and altered postprandial plasma concentrations of gut hormones, insulin and glucose."
  • Nutrition Journal: "Fructose content in popular beverages made with and without high-fructose corn syrup."
  • Pediatrics: "Fruit Juice Intake Predicts Increased Adiposity Gain in Children From Low-Income Families: Weight Status-by-Environment Interaction."
  • SELFNutritionData: "Fullness Factor," "Glycemic Index."
  • United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
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