Spring is now fast approaching with the start of daylight saving time just around the corner.

This is great for people who love longer evenings in the sun, but the bad news is the clocks changing can play havoc with our appetite. But how exactly does this work, and is there anything we can do to stop this impact?

In this article Alliance Online explains why we may experience changes in our eating habits when daylight saving time begins, and also provides us with handy tips on how we can regulate our appetite when the clocks change.

How daylight saving time impacts our appetites

Our internal body clocks are more powerful than a lot of us realize, so with an extra hour of sleep, our body becomes out of sync with a routine pretty quickly. By getting up later, we also run the risk of going to bed later due to lighter nights, this means our eating habits are likely to change. 

And as it can take our body clock a few days to get back into its normal routine, many of us experience disrupted sleep throughout this period too. Lack of shut-eye is another cause of hunger, as sleep deprivation can affect our hormones. In regard to our appetite, sleep deficiency can lead to an increase in ghrelin (the hormone which makes us feel hungry) and a decrease in leptin (which can make us feel full).

Tips for fixing your appetite after the clocks change

The good news is that there are a number of quick and simple ways to reduce the impact the clock’s changing has on our hunger levels. To keep your appetite satisfied, give the following tips a go.

Opt for filling foods

To keep yourself satisfied for longer, make sure to eat plenty of filling foods so you aren’t tempted to snack throughout the day. Pulses such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans are great at keeping people full for longer, as they’re high in both fibre and protein. Other filling, high-fiber foods include oats, whole wheat bread, carrots, broccoli, and bananas.

And if you’re looking for a filling snack to eat throughout the day, opt for nuts. Not only are they calorie-dense, but they’re full of fibre, healthy fats, and micronutrients.

Get outside

To help your body clock get back into a sustainable routine, make sure to get outside and soak up plenty of natural light. Even on an overcast day, exposure to natural light can be beneficial for your sleep schedule as it sends signals to the rest of your body telling you that it’s daytime and you should be awake.

Try to get outside in the morning to help wake you up and get your body clock back on track. And if you can’t get outside much or even at all, try to sit near an open window with plenty of natural light throughout the day.

Eat at the right time of day

It’s a good idea to stick to your usual meal schedule as much as possible. If you end up eating breakfast later in the day, you may be left having an evening meal later. This could lead to you eating more snacks at the end of the day, which will keep you up at night and cause further disruption. If you’re hungry between mealtimes, eat filling snacks such as nuts and fruit to satisfy your hunger.

Mike Hardman, Marketing Manager at Alliance Online commented:

While the start of daylight saving time gives us one less hour in bed and lots of summer nights out, it can be bad news for our hunger levels. It’s normal to feel hungry when the clocks change as sleep disruption can increase our appetites. 

“But you don’t need to let this impact your mealtimes, as there are a number of easy ways to reduce hunger during this period. Simply opting for more filling foods can make a huge difference. To keep as full as possible, start the day with a generous portion of oats and fruit, opt for a sandwich made with whole wheat bread for lunch, and make a filling chickpea and lentil stew for your evening meal.

“Try to continue eating at your usual mealtimes. If you’re ravenous mid-day due to eating earlier, stock up on nuts to keep you full for longer.

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