Hunger is a natural signal to your body that it needs more food. When you feel hungry, your stomach may “grumble” and feel empty, you may have a headache, feel irritable or be unable to focus. There are many possible explanations for this including a diet lacking in protein, fat, or fiber, as well as excessive stress or dehydration.
Here are the reasons why you always feel hungry:
1. Not eating enough protein
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is important for controlling appetite. Protein has hunger-reducing properties that may automatically help you consume fewer calories during the day and works by increasing the production of hormones that signal satiety and decreasing levels of hormones that stimulate hunger.
2. Not getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is very important to your health. Sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and immune system and getting enough of it is linked to a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. In addition, adequate sleep is a factor in appetite control, as it helps regulate ghrelin, the hormone Appetite stimulator. Lack of sleep leads to high levels of the hormone ghrelin which is why you may feel hungry when you are sleep deprived.
3. Eat a lot of refined carbohydrates
Refined carbs are highly processed and stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One of the most popular sources of refined carbohydrates is white flour, which is found in many grain-based foods such as bread and pasta. Since refined carbohydrates lack fiber, your body digests them very quickly. To reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates, simply replace them with nutrient-rich whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are still high in carbohydrates, but they are high in fiber, which helps manage hunger well.
4. Low-fat diet
Fats play a major role in feeling full. This is partly due to the slow GI transit time which means it takes longer to digest and stays in your stomach for a long time. In addition, eating fat may release several fullness-promoting hormones. Other sources of nutrient-dense, high-fat foods include avocados, olive oil, eggs, full-fat yogurt, coconut oil, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
5. Not drinking enough water
Drinking enough water has many health benefits including boosting brain and heart health and improving exercise performance. In addition, water keeps the skin and digestive system healthy. Water is also completely saturating and has the ability to reduce appetite when consumed before meals.
Feeling thirsty can be confused with feeling hungry. If you’re always hungry, it may help to drink a glass or two of water to see if you’re just thirsty.
6. Extreme tiredness
Excessive stress is known to increase appetite. This is mostly due to its effects on increasing cortisol levels, a hormone that has been shown to enhance hunger and food cravings. This is why you may find that you are always hungry if you suffer from frequent stress. Several strategies can help you reduce your stress levels. Like exercise and deep breathing.
7. Eat too fast
How often you eat may play a role in how hungry you are. Several studies have shown that people who eat fast food have a greater appetite, tend to overeat than slow eaters, and are more likely to become obese. In addition, eating slowly and chewing well gives your body and mind more time to release hunger-fighting hormones and transmit satiety signals.
If you frequently feel hungry, it may help to eat more slowly. You can do this by:
- Take a deep breath before meals
- Put your fork in between the bites
- Increase your chewing time
These reasons may actually explain why you are always hungry, but consulting a specialist is highly recommended to be really sure whether or not it is a medical condition.
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