Are you hungry all the time?
Do you still feel hungry after just finishing a meal?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this could be happening.
When you get hungry, it should purely be physiological. Simple enough, right? You need calories or water for living. That’s all! How did eating get so complex in modern society? Because of bad eating habits and not-so-good quality food, appetite hormones, emotional factors, and stress are affected.
Are you someone who’s always thinking about food? Maybe this seems natural to you. It’s not! Thinking about food constantly and feeling hungry all the time could be a more significant issue.
Here are ten common problems that are related to chronic hunger and what you can do about it.
1 – Some possible hormone issues
Hyperthyroidism can cause feelings of hunger, but several other hormonal conditions can cause this. Conditions like diabetes, early-stage diabetes, hypoglycemia, and additional insulin and glucose issues are the primary sources of hunger.
You can control these hormone responses through diet. If a high-refined carb diet causes your hunger, you could reduce your carb intake. Eating many refined carbs, like white starches, and sugar causes crazy cravings and an erratic appetite.
As we all probably know, when you reduce carbs, insulin resistance improves, and so does your metabolism. Hormones affect many things in your body. Don’t ignore them if you want to lose weight.
2 – You’re not eating meals at the right time or skipping them.
Don’t skip meals, even if you are trying to lose weight. It doesn’t work and makes you crave more. When you skip meals, your body thinks this is an emergency and starts to store fat cells immediately and won’t let go of them so easily. The body thinks you’re in a period of starvation.
The hormone ghrelin, an appetite stimulator, goes into overdrive when you don’t eat for a long time. The best way is not to go without food for more than 4 or 5 hours. You could eat healthy snacks if you’re too busy.
3 – You’re not drinking enough water during the day
Often, people believe they’re hungry when in fact, they’re thirsty. When you’re dehydrated, the symptom of thirst is often misunderstood. So not drinking enough water throughout the day can make you think you’re hungry.
Check if you’re dehydrated by looking at the color of your urine. When it’s clear to light yellow, it means you’re fully hydrated. When it’s darker yellow, it means you need to drink more water. Try this. When you feel hungry even though you ate a short time ago, drink one to two cups of water or more. See if the hunger disappears or not.
Our brains mistake thirst for hunger. Both of these are controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. A study done found we mistake thirst for hunger 60% of the time. Water is so essential for the body. It carries nutrients to where they need to be. Lack of water means a lack of nutrients. The body thinks it’s lacking fuel and fires up the cravings.
4 – You’re not getting enough quality sleep
You must get enough sleep if you’re trying to lose weight or want your body to function well. There’s no escaping this. Sleep helps regulate hormones like cortisol produced during stress. Too much stress hormone can cause you to crave food.
Craving high fat and high-calorie foods are symptoms of being overtired. Some symptoms from lack of sleep are a change in mood, clumsiness, inability to focus, and weight gain.
Are you sleeping less than seven to eight hours every day? Then you need to add extra sleep. When you do that, you’ll notice an immediate decrease in stress responses from lack of sleep.
5 – You possibly have thyroid issues
Thyroid issues can make you eat more than usual. They can also make you feel hungry all the time. Hyperthyroidism is where the thyroid speeds up everything the body does. All your metabolic processes run faster than usual. You’ll have this kind of insatiable hunger.
If you have hunger and moodiness, tiredness, brittle nails, or hair loss, it could be hyperthyroidism. Have your doctor run tests to check thyroid function.
6 – You’re eating too many refined carbs
When you eat too many refined carbs in a meal, you’re flooding your blood with sugar, especially glucose. This makes insulin release in excessive amounts to handle all that glucose. Because insulin acts fast, all the sugar will quickly disappear. Blood sugar levels drop fast.
This then triggers cravings. If you want to lose weight, stop the refined carbs. This includes sugar, white bread, rice, and pasta. Go for whole grains and eat a clean diet filled with whole food. Doing this will improve digestion and boost your metabolism.
7 – You have too much stress going on
When you’re stressed, you sometimes lose your appetite. But that’s only temporary. Continuous stress increases the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol triggers your sense of hunger. Not only that, cortisol takes lipids out of your bloodstream and stores them in fat cells. We put on more weight, and the stress goes up even more.
8 – You lack enough protein
Protein takes more time to digest fully. It keeps you feeling full for longer. Lean protein also provides your body with an appetite-suppressing effect. Protein comes in many forms, like eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. They’re not the only sources of protein you can eat. Eat foods like quinoa, hummus, beans, nuts, and peanut butter at any time of the day.
9 – You’re not taking enough time to eat meals
When you don’t focus while you’re eating, it’s easier to eat more than people who pay attention to their food—even listening to the sounds of eating your food registers with your brain on some level. Taking enough time for meals allows the hormone leptin responsible for the feeling of fullness to start working after almost 20 minutes of eating.
Being distracted while eating by watching TV, playing on your phone, or working on your laptop, your brain doesn’t always realize that you’re eating. You could end up eating up to 40% more than you should. Take your time and be mindful when you’re eating.
For many of us, our lives are super busy. We tend to do everything in a rush. We don’t even have time to think and reflect, let alone take our time eating. Spending around 20-25 minutes eating will allow for the hormone leptin to starts kicking in. It usually happens after about 20 minutes. It gives you that feeling that you’ve had enough to eat. This ensures you don’t overeat or feel hungry after your meal.
Some studies show people who eat quickly consume 60% more calories than those who don’t.
10 – Are you taking medications that could cause you to feel hungry?
Some medications can increase your appetite. Because all medicines are chemicals, they can upset your body’s natural chemical balance.
There isn’t only one sure answer to why you’re always hungry, but these things we just went over are the top ones that can cause chronic hunger symptoms. What you can do right now is start drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. Doing this will handle it in most cases.
If all of your blood tests show normal hormone levels, then it’s more likely to be psychological appetite and not real hunger. Control your appetite through mindful eating techniques. Check out our other podcasts on this subject.
Controlling your hunger will help you to stop thinking about food all the time.