Do you find yourself in a constant state of hunger? If so the solution might not be to eat more but to just change your lifestyle. The usual advice for people plagued by post workout hunger pangs is to drink plenty of water and increase fibre. However, to a lot of people this just isn’t good enough and the stomach won’t be fooled by filling it with excessive amounts of water.
One reason your hunger may be disproportionately large is that you have been taking low heart rate cardio to extremes. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do cardio, but rather that you should do shorter sessions at higher heart rates. If you keep pumping away at 50% of your maximum heart rate for hours on end then your hunger will spike and you will end up eating more than the cardio burned. This was recently verified in a study conducted on marathon cyclists who produced a surprisingly high amount of a hunger inducing chemical (ghrelin) in their bodies as a result of 2 hours of low-level exercise. On the other hand the same cyclists produced a mere fraction of the same chemical after a shorter burst of high intensity activity. This once again demonstrates the advantage of interval training over endurance cardio.
Another reason you could be hungrier than expected is that you’re not getting enough sleep. Ghrelin will rise significantly if you get less than your recommended amount of hours and you will have more difficulty sticking to your diet. The effect of sleep is surprisingly strong and you will feel the effects of one bad night’s sleep for a week.
One obvious hunger stimulator is the amount of high calorie sweet foods you see around you, such as on television and other people’s plates. The less temptation you are exposed to the less you will stray from your diet. Obviously smell is a powerful factor in this and a whiff of something glazed is enough to get your stomach complaining.