Hunger is your brain’s way of telling you to eat to generate usable energy. But if your stomach is growling even after a huge meal, something is clearly wrong. Hunger is a good sign of healthy metabolism, but feeling hungry frequently and grazing all the time is not good. Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson, the author of the NY Times bestseller, Bright Line Eating, calls this type of hunger “insatiable hunger.” And there are reasons you and others suffer from it. Scroll down and find out why you feel hungry all the time and the solutions to deal with this annoyingly embarrassing problem. Swipe up!
20 Possible Reasons You Feel Hungry All The Time
1. You Are Consuming Too Many Carbs
I am not saying that all carbs are bad. But simple carbs like flour and refined sugar are bad for your health. And the reason you feel hungry even after consuming sugar-loaded food and refined carbs is that simple carbs are digested and absorbed quickly by the digestive system. As a result, right after eating, your stomach feels empty, and you start feeling hungry again. When foods take time to digest and get absorbed, you stay satiated. So, the best way to deal with this is to completely avoid consuming simple carbs and focus on eating healthy and nourishing foods. Check out points 7,8, and 9 to know what to eat. But do not ignore the following important point.
2. You Eat According To Calories And Not Nutrition
I think we have all been guilty of doing this at some point in our lives. Well, let me give you an example. Diet soda contains 0 calories. And you drink it, thinking you are not consuming any calories. It’s true, but that’s not the entire truth. Many junk foods are low in calories, but they have zero nutritional value, which means that they do not contain any substantial nutrients. And when there’s a lack of nutrients in the body, the brain signals you to eat. So, counting calories is not the most effective way to determine what to eat. A cup of freshly pressed fruit juice is better than diet soda.
3. You Are Stressed Or Depressed
Being stressed or depressed is draining. And when you are worried/stressed/depressed, the cortisol levels are constantly high in your body. This prompts you to eat frequently to feel better. A bag of chips, a tub of ice cream, a bowl of nachos, or cheese nuggets are “comfort” foods that are going to make you very uncomfortable later. The best way to deal with this type of a stress response is to look for the real solution to the problem at hand. If required, talk to someone you trust or a complete stranger to vent out the negative emotions. Because it is impossible to take care of an external situation when you are not fine inside.
4. You Are Thirsty
This is actually a reason many people constantly feel hungry. Dehydration can mess with your brain signals. And instead of drinking water, you search the fridge and kitchen cabinets for more food. Just drink water, and for sure, you will stop feeling hungry. In fact, drink 500 mL of water right after waking up. And then, keep drinking 1-2 cups of water every 1-2 hours. Make detox drinks and carry them to work or school and set a reminder. All your skin, hair, nail, and weight problems will be taken care of only if you do this.
5. You Watch Food
Yup. You read that right. I can say this from my personal experience that seeing pictures of food or watching cooking shows on YouTube or TV can stimulate your brain to signal your body to crave more food. You either have to be super strong mentally to not get lured by those delicious looking foods or have to stop or limit your time on social media or TV. The latter option seems more practical and doable.
6. You Have Hyperthyroidism
You might be suffering from hyperthyroidism, which causes you to feel hungry all the time. This hormonal disorder causes various problems related to obesity and health, especially for women. So, get your thyroid levels checked and change your lifestyle by eating healthily and exercising regularly.
7. You Consume Less Protein
Did you know that you should be having a source of protein with every meal you consume throughout the day? That’s because proteins are the building blocks of your body. Your hair, hormones, enzymes, and cell membranes are all made of protein. And they are constantly broken down due to wear and tear and a shift in the energy. So, unless you replenish the protein reserves in your body, you will feel weak and hungry all the time. Proteins take longer to digest (unlike refined carbs) and increase your satiety levels. Consume fish, mushroom, chicken breasts, ground turkey, beans and legumes, tofu, and broccoli to fulfill your body’s protein requirements.
8. Your Diet Lacks Dietary FIber
If simple carbs are your enemy, dietary fiber or complex carbs are your best friend. That’s because complex carbs take longer to digest as they form a gel-layer in the stomach, which slows down the transition of food through the digestive system. This results in increased satiety levels. So, ditch the refined carbs and consume fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
9. You Avoid Consuming Healthy Fats
Like carbs, not all fats are bad. In fact, good fats are an integral part of cell membrane structure, reduce inflammation in the body and hunger, and aid various bodily functions. So, do not avoid fats completely. Consume healthy or good fats like olive oil, avocado oil, avocado, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, and ghee.
10. You Are Distracted When You Eat
There are two types of distractions – bad and good. Not paying attention to what you are eating is a bad distraction. When you are consumed by social media, emails, work from home/coffee shop, TV or a problem, you do not actually look at your plate to give your brain the visual cue of how much you ate. As a result, right after half an hour of finishing your meal, you start to feel hungry again. So, keep all distractions aside and concentrate on your food.
11. You Are Leptin Resistant
Leptin is a hormone that is secreted by the fat cells and prevents you from overeating. But when you eat too much and accumulate a lot of fat in your body, your brain stops responding to the leptin secreted by the fat cells, and you become leptin resistant. So, you completely miss the signal to stop eating and constantly feel hungry. Talk to a doctor to see if you are leptin resistant and follow a healthy lifestyle.
12. You Are Showing Signs Of Diabetes
Constantly feeling hungry might also mean that your body is insulin resistant, which is one of the causes of diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas and helps shuttle glucose to the cells, where it is converted to usable energy. When you overeat, the insulin levels are constantly high. And this causes insulin resistance. As a result, the glucose molecules cannot enter the cells. When that happens, your body is devoid of energy, and your brain signals you to eat more. And all you feel throughout the day is hunger that is driving you nuts. Check with your doctor before jumping to conclusions. Do not be scared if you are diabetic. Just follow good eating habits and workout regularly.
13. You Skip Meals
Skip an uninteresting get together but not your meals. A lot of people skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner either because they are busy or they want to lose weight. Skipping meals to lose weight does not work. And if you are super busy, have liquid meals like smoothies/shakes. It will take you 2 minutes to prepare them. When you skip meals, especially breakfast, your brain and body go into a lethargy mode, and you feel tired, fatigued, and stressed out. As a result, you feel hungry and overeat.
14. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a natural way to help your brain, bones, and muscles relax and rejuvenate. If you do not get enough rest and sleep, the stress levels go up. This can result in an increased number of harmful free oxygen radicals. These attack the cells at the molecular level and hinder the basic functions of the body, leading to metabolic syndrome and diseases. All this makes you feel hungry and stressed all the time. So, get 6-7 hours of sleep or enough sleep so that you do not feel irritable, tired, and hungry 24/7.
15. You Are Pregnant
If you have suddenly started feeling hungry all the time, missed your period, feel nauseous, and your breasts are enlarged, you might be pregnant. Most women feel hungry all the time in the first trimester. Check with your doctor to find out if you are really pregnant.
16. You Are Extremely Obese
Being extremely obese can also make you want to eat more. That’s because (a) you are leptin resistant, (b) you are insulin resistant, (c) you suffer from metabolic syndrome, and (d) you are depressed. All these are stress responses that are driving you to eat more to feel better and feel full. This is not going to change unless you are determined to start making a change. Take help of your near and dear ones, talk to a specialist, and plan your weight loss journey.
17. You Drink A Lot Of Alcohol
Consuming too much alcohol can also make you feel hungry and overeat. When you are a little buzzed or drunk, you forget to keep track of how much food you are eating. Also, alcohol dehydrates you. And instead of drinking water, you tend to eat as you misread your brain’s signals. So, if you are going to a party, eat before you drink. And keep drinking water so that you stay hydrated.
18. You Eat Quickly
Eating quickly prevents you from realizing how much you actually ate. And that prevents your brain from getting a visual cue, which, in turn, can make you feel hungry even after a heavy meal. Eat slow and chew properly to prevent this from happening.
19. You Over Exercise
Overtraining your body prevents your muscles from properly rebuilding themselves. As a result, the inflammation and stress levels in your body increase, and your energy levels are always low. When that happens, you feel like eating all the time to amp up your energy levels and feel better emotionally. Do a mixed workout, including cardio and strength training. Do up to 5-6 hours of training per week and not more than that. If you do want to train for more hours, seek professional help and guidance.
20. You Are On Certain Medication
Certain medications like antidepressants, allergy medicines, and anti-seizure medicines can make you go berserk with hunger. So, if you are on a certain type of medication, you will be more prone to feeling hungry all the time.
These are the 20 reasons that may be making you feel hungry all the time. Yes, it is a little difficult to control hunger, but not if you know what is triggering it. If you drink less water, drink more of it. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, start being active. Every problem has a solution only if you look for it. Go ahead and kill this constant hunger with an effective antidote. Cheers!
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