Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that it needs more food (duh!). When you feel hungry, you may get irritable, and your stomach may start to growl. Some people also get headaches and cannot concentrate due to hunger.
While some can go hours between meals without having a snack, others need to eat something every hour or two because they feel hungry. This may happen because their diet lacks fiber, fat, or protein. Keep in mind that dehydration or excess stress can also be a trigger to extreme hunger.
In this article, you will learn why you are always hungry:
1. You Do Not Eat Enough Protein
With every meal, you must consume enough protein. Protein contains qualities that reduce hunger automatically and helps you eat less during the day. When you eat protein, the number of hormones responsible for indicating fullness increase in the body. When this happens, the hormones that increase hunger die down.
This means that having protein three times a day will keep you full for longer periods during the day and reduce obsessive thinking about snacking.
Many foods contain a high amount of protein. This includes meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. Dairy products such as yogurt and milk also contain protein. If you want to include more plant-based protein in your diet, you can opt for seeds, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
2. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial for your well-being. Sleep helps your brain and immune system function properly and lowers the likelihood of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Moreover, sleep is also related to your food intake. Sufficient amounts of sleep help control your appetite by regulating a hormone called ghrelin. When you do not sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, making you feel hungrier.
Sleep is also correlated to a hormone called leptin. This hormone sends signals to your body when you are full. However, without sleep, it does not function properly, causing you to overeat during the day. To ensure that your hunger levels stay balanced, you must try to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every day.
3. Your Diet Has a High Number of Refined Carbs
Carbs are absolutely magical. Most of us cannot live without carbs. Of course, carbs play an important part in our diet as well. However, an excess of refined carbs is terrible for your body, especially if it is highly processed.
One of the most used sources of refined carbs includes white flour. White flour is used in a number of grain products, including pasta and bread. Moreover, some foods like candy, baked goodies, and soda include a high amount of processed sugar. These also fall in the category of refined carbs.
Refined carbs do not contain any fiber, which is why your body digests them fast. This leaves you feeling hungry, and you do not feel full for long. Eating too many refined carbs also causes a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Hence, include nutrient-rich foods in your diet, such as legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. Even though these foods are high in carbs, they also contain loads of fiber to promote feelings of fullness.
4. Your Diet Does Not Contain Enough Fat
If you are always hungry, it could be because you do not eat enough fatty food. Fat plays a significant role in keeping you full as it has a slow gastrointestinal period. This means that fat takes a long time to digest, keeping you full for longer periods of time.
According to research, people who consume healthy fats were likely to feel less hungry than those who followed a low-carb diet.
There are lots of high-fat foods that you can include in your daily life. These include avocados, eggs, yogurt, and olive oil. Fats such as omega-4 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are known to help lower appetite by promoting feelings of fullness. Coconut oil is the best source of MCT. On the other hand, fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your body. You can also find omega-3s in plant-based foods, like flaxseeds and walnuts.
5. You Are Dehydrated
If you do not drink enough water, there are higher chances of you feeling hungry all the time. Water has numerous benefits, such as ensuring good heart and brain health and increases workout efficiency. Moreover, it ensures that your digestive system is functioning properly while keeping your skin glowing and dewy.
Moreover, water helps keep you full for longer periods of time when consumed before every meal. This means that if you are not drinking enough water, you may find yourself feeling hungry more often during the day.
It is also easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Hence, have a glass or two of water before deciding if you really need food when you feel hungry. You can also include water-rich foods and vegetables in your diets, such as watermelon, melon, cucumber, and tomato.
6. You Do Not Eat Mindfully
In today’s world, distractions are common. To save time, you may be eating while doing other things, for example, completing a presentation, filing documents, or even watching television. However, distracted eating is terrible for you as it increases your appetite. You may not notice how fast you are eating or when you get full, so you end up eating more. This increases weight gain.
There are loads of studies that suggest that those who do not eat mindfully end up eating a lot more during the day. To practice mindful eating, get rid of all distractions, and eat on a table. Keep your phone and laptop away. To avoid disturbance, put your electrical device on mute. This way, you will be able to taste each bite and chew mindfully before swallowing.