If you’ve ever wondered “Why am I always hungry?” you’re not alone. Many people have their stomachs growling for food only an hour after eating, not feeling satiated even after a good meal, or even for days on end. But don’t worry, research has proven that a few changes to your habits can get your hunger in order and satiate that bottomless pit - I mean, stomach.
Here are the reasons why you’re always hungry and how to fix it for good:
Not Drinking Enough Water
This is a no-brainer: sometimes when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. A study in Physiology & Behavior has shown that people often respond “inappropriately” to feelings of hunger and thirst 62% of the time. That means we often get confused and end up eating instead of drinking water, thinking that we’re hungry when our body is actually just craving water.
- Next time you’re hungry, take a recap at how much water you drank during the day.
- Take a reusable bottle of water to work or give yourself the goal of finishing it throughout the day. Depending on the size, you may need to refill it once or twice.
- Try choosing water over other beverages, such as coffee, soft drinks, and juices.
It may be hard to start drinking more water when you’re not used to it, especially if you always go for other beverages, but you’ll start seeing the benefits on your waistline, skin, and energy levels in no time.
Not Sleeping Enough
I bet you’ve already heard about this. Not getting a good night of sleep not only affects how productive and coffee-inclined you are, but it also affects your appetite.
A study in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows a correlation between sleep deprivation and overeating. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to get hungrier and eat extra calories throughout the day, often avoiding protein and nutritious foods and going for greasy, high-calorie options.
- Avoid screens when it’s getting late and try going to sleep earlier
- A weighted blanket can help you sleep better
- Guided meditation is also an option
- There are certain foods that can help you sleep
Going for a slice of pizza or a bowl of white pasta may satiate your immediate cravings, but the refined carbs will make you feel hungry much faster. These choices are heavily processed and lack nutrients, meaning your body will quickly digest them, cause blood sugar to spike and quickly crash, leaving you hungry again.
A study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that these types of foods decrease your glucose, increase your hunger, and stimulate some parts of your brain that are associated with reward and cravings. This means that after eating refined carbs, you quickly crave even more carbs, initiating an endless cycle that makes you constantly hungry.
- Opt for whole grain options
- Eat fewer processed foods
- Add more protein, fruits, legumes, and dairy products to your diet
Stress has a major effect on your appetite, and while it can make you forget eating if it’s an uncommon occurrence, it also causes overeating if it’s a constant issue.
According to Harvard Health, constant stress makes the adrenal gland release a hormone called cortisol, which increases appetite and also ramps up the motivation to eat.
- Meditation is a good option to lower stress
- Low-intensity exercise helps in reducing cortisol levels
- Social support from friends and family helps lowering stress when work involves stressful situations
This may be surprising, but low-fat foods may be increasing your hunger and even increasing your waistline. A research published in Nutrition & Diabetes shows that the amount of sugar in low-fat versions are higher than in their regular, full-fat versions. Extra sugar is often added to low-fat packaged food to compensate for the lack of flavor, leaving you wanting more.
Solution: Avoid low-fat packaged food and choose healthier full-fat options, like eggs, avocado, and salmon.
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- 7 Amazing Cauliflower Recipes that Will Make You Rethink Rice
- 6 Easy Meal Prep Mason Jar Recipes for Busy Weekdays
Which one of these hunger-inducing reasons surprised you the most? Let us know at our Facebook page or in the comments below!