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Here Are 14 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry

If you constantly feel hungry, there may be nutritional shortages, stress, inadequate sleep, or hormonal imbalances at play. Hunger can be lessened by eating enough protein, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep.

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Your body’s natural cue that you need more food is hunger.

Your stomach may “growl” and feel empty when you’re hungry, and you might also experience headaches, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

Though not everyone, most people can go many hours without eating before getting hungry again.

Several factors could account for this, such as a diet lacking in protein, fat, or fiber, too much stress, or dehydration.

This article explores 14 causes of extreme hunger.

  1. You don’t consume enough protein.

Getting enough protein is crucial for controlling appetite.

Because protein curbs your appetite, you could find that you eat fewer calories throughout the day. It functions by raising hormone production that signals fullness and decreasing hormone levels that promote appetite

If you don’t get enough protein, you might frequently feel hungry as a result of these impacts.

In one study, 14 overweight men who consumed 25% of their calories from protein for 12 weeks had a 50% lower need for late-night snacks than those in the protein-restricted group.

Also, those who consumed more protein throughout the day felt more satisfied and had fewer obsessive food thoughts.

It is simple to consume adequate protein through your diet because a wide variety of foods are high in protein. Every meal should contain a source of protein to help prevent overeating.

Animal items with a high protein content include meat, chicken, fish, and eggs.

In addition to some dairy products like milk and yogurt, this mineral can also be found in a few plant-based foods such legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

2) You aren’t getting enough sleep.

Your health depends heavily on getting enough sleep.

Getting enough sleep is linked to a lower risk of various chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. Sleep is necessary for the healthy functioning of your brain and immune system.

Also, getting enough sleep is important for appetite control because it controls the hormone that stimulates appetite, ghrelin. Because sleep deprivation raises ghrelin levels, it is possible to feel more hungry when you are awakened.

In a study, 15 participants who had only one night of sleep deprivation reported feeling considerably more hungry and choosing 14% bigger meal sizes.

Leptin is a hormone that encourages feelings of fullness, and getting enough sleep aids in maintaining optimal levels of this hormone.

It’s generally advised to get at least 8 hours of unbroken sleep each night to keep your hunger levels under control.


3) You consume too much processed carbohydrates.

Refined carbohydrates have undergone extensive processing and have had their fiber, vitamins, and minerals removed.

White flour, which is a common ingredient in many grain-based dishes like bread and pasta, is one of the most well-liked forms of refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are also regarded as foods like soda, candy, and baked goods that are created with processed sugars.

Refined carbohydrates don’t have fiber to fill you up, so your body breaks them down rapidly. If you consume a lot of refined carbohydrates, you may have frequent hunger pangs because these foods do not significantly increase feelings of satiety.

Additionally, eating refined carbohydrates may cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. As a result, the hormone insulin, which is in charge of delivering sugar to your cells, is produced at higher amounts.

The condition known as hypoglycemia can result from the abrupt drop in blood sugar levels that occurs when a large amount of insulin is released in response to high blood sugar.

You may experience frequent hunger if refined carbs are a regular part of your diet since low blood sugar levels tell your body it needs more food.

To reduce your refined carb intake, simply replace them with nutrient-rich, whole foods like vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are still high in carbs, but they are rich in fiber, which helps keep hunger well managed

4) You eat a low-fat diet.

You can stay full for longer by eating fat.

This is mainly because it takes longer for you to digest and stays in your stomach for a long time due to its slow gastrointestinal transit time. Moreover, ingesting fat may cause the release of a number of hormones that encourage satiety.

For these reasons, if your diet is low in fat, you might experience frequent hunger.

In one study of 270 obese adults, it was discovered that those who followed a low-fat diet had significantly higher carb cravings and preferences than those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet.

Also, compared to the group that followed a low carb eating plan, participants in the low fat group reported feeling more hungry.

You can add a variety of nutrient-rich, high-fat items to your diet to enhance your consumption of fat. The capacity of specific types of fats to suppress appetite, such as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and omega-3 fatty acids, has received the most research.

Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, while MCT is most abundant in coconut oil. Omega-3s are also found in plant-based meals like flaxseeds and walnuts.

Avocados, olive oil, eggs, and full-fat yogurt are further sources of nutrient-dense, high-fat meals.

5) You don’t consume enough water.

Your whole health greatly benefits from proper hydration.

In addition to improving heart and brain health and enhancing exercise performance, drinking enough water has many positive health effects. Water also maintains the health of your skin and digestive system.

Drinking water before meals can potentially curb hunger because it is so full.

One study found that 14 participants who drank two cups of water before a meal consumed over 600 less calories than those who didn’t.

If you don’t drink enough water, which helps to keep you full, you can discover that you become hungry a lot.

The sensations of hunger and thirst can be confused. If you’re constantly hungry, drinking a glass or two of water could help you determine whether you’re simply thirsty.

Just sip water whenever you are thirsty to keep yourself hydrated. Consuming a lot of water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, will also help you stay hydrated.

6) Your diet is lacking fiber.

You can experience frequent hunger if your diet is lacking in fiber.

Eating a lot of high-fiber foods can help you control your hunger. Foods with more fiber take longer to digest and have a slower rate of stomach emptying.

A high fiber diet also affects the formation of short-chain fatty acids, which have been found to have fullness-promoting effects, as well as the release of hormones that suppress appetite.

It’s crucial to remember that there are several forms of fiber, and some of them work better than others to satisfy your hunger. According to several studies, soluble fiber—that is, fiber that dissolves in water—fills you up more than insoluble fiber.

Oatmeal, flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, oranges, and Brussels sprouts are just a few of the many foods that are great providers of soluble fiber.

In addition to assisting with appetite suppression, a high-fiber diet is linked to a number of positive health outcomes, including a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Choose a diet high in whole, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains to make sure you’re receiving enough fiber.

7) You are preoccupied when eating.

If you lead a hectic life, it’s possible that you frequently eat while preoccupied.

Even though it could save you time, eating while distracted can be bad for your health. It causes an increase in hunger, calorie intake, and weight gain (31Trusted Source).

This is primarily due to the fact that eating while distracted makes it harder to keep track of how much food you’re actually taking in. It hinders your ability to perceive your body’s cues that it is full as effectively as when you are not preoccupied.

Studies have revealed that those who eat while preoccupied are more ravenous than people who consume while paying attention to what they are eating.

In one study, 88 women were given the option of eating quietly or while being distracted. Compared to the non-distracted eaters, those who were distracted felt less satisfied and had a noticeably higher desire to eat more throughout the day.

According to a different study, those who played a computer game to pass the time over lunch felt less satisfied than those who did not. Also, in a test conducted later that day, the distracted eaters ate 48% more food.

You can try being more conscious, spending less time on screens, and turning off your gadgets to prevent distracted eating. You’ll be able to taste your food and sit down, which will make it easier for you to detect your body’s fullness cues.

8) You are quite active and exercise a lot.

Those who work out regularly burn a lot of calories.

This is especially true if you consistently exercise at a high level of intensity or engage in prolonged physical activity, like preparing for a marathon.

According to research, those who regularly engage in vigorous exercise tend to have a faster metabolism, which causes them to expend more calories even when at rest than people who engage in moderate activity or lead sedentary lifestyles.

But more recently, a systematic review of 103 research published in 2014 found no evidence to support higher calorie consumption during exercise. We require more randomized research.

In one study, 10 men boosted their daily metabolic rate by 37% after a strong 45-minute workout compared to a day when they did not exercise.

Another study showed that women who exercised vigorously every day for 16 days burned 15% more calories than moderate exercisers and 33% more calories than a group who did not exercise. For men, the outcomes were comparable.

There is some evidence that vigorous, long-term exercisers tend to have bigger appetites than those who do not exercise, despite the fact that numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of exercise for decreasing hunger.

Simply by eating more to fuel your efforts, you can avoid feeling too hungry after a workout. Increasing your diet of satiating meals that are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats is very beneficial.

Reduce your workout intensity or exercise for shorter periods of time as an alternative.

It’s crucial to remember that this primarily applies to people who are serious athletes who routinely exercise at a high intensity or for extended periods of time. You generally don’t need to boost your calorie intake if you exercise modestly.

9) You’re consuming too much alcohol.

Alcohol’s well-known ability to increase appetite

Alcohol may block hormones that suppress appetite, such as leptin, according to studies, especially if it is eaten before or alongside meals. For this reason, if you consume too much alcohol, you could frequently feel hungry.

One study found that 12 men who drank 1.5 ounces (40 mL) of alcohol before lunch consumed 300 more calories throughout the meal than a group who drank only 0.3 ounces (10 mL)

In addition, those who consumed more alcohol consumed 10% more calories overall than those who consumed less alcohol. Also, they had a higher propensity to eat a lot of salty and high-fat foods (46Trusted Source).

According to a different study, 26 participants who drank 1 ounce (30 mL) of alcohol with a meal ingested 30% more calories than those who didn’t (47Trusted Source).

In addition to perhaps increasing your appetite, alcohol may also affect your ability to make wise decisions and exercise self-control. No matter how hungry you are, this can make you eat more (44Trusted Source).

The best course of action is to either avoid alcohol altogether or consume it in moderation to lessen its impact on hunger.

10) You hydrate yourself.

You have various effects on your hunger from eating liquids and solids.

You might feel hungry more frequently if you frequently eat liquid meals like smoothies, meal replacement shakes, and soups as opposed to more solid meals.

The fact that liquids travel through your stomach more quickly than solid foods is a big factor in this.

Also, compared to solid foods, some research indicate that liquid foods do not have the same effect on the inhibition of hormones that promote appetite.

Moreover, consuming liquids usually takes less time than eating solids. Because your brain hasn’t had enough time to interpret fullness signals, this can make you want to eat more.

According to a study, participants who ate a liquid snack felt less satisfied and more hungry than those who ate a solid food. Also, they ate 400 more calories throughout the day than the group that only had solid snacks.

Concentrate on adding more substantial, whole foods to your diet to help minimize frequent hunger.

11) You’re extremely anxious.

Excessive stress is known to make people hungrier.

This is primarily because of how it affects cortisol levels, a hormone that has been linked to increased appetite and food cravings. For this reason, if you frequently feel stress, you can discover that you are always hungry

In one study, 59 women who experienced stress ate much sweeter foods and consumed more calories throughout the day than women who were not under stress.

In another study, the eating patterns of 350 young females were compared. Overeating was more prevalent among those with higher stress levels compared to those with lower stress levels. The girls who reported feeling a lot of stress also said they ate more cookies and chips, which are low in nutrients.

There are numerous methods you can use to lessen your stress. Exercise and in-depth breathing are some alternatives.

12) You take specific drugs.

Your appetite may increase as a side effect of some drugs.

Antipsychotics like clozapine and olanzapine, as well as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, corticosteroids, and anti seizure medications, are among the most often prescribed treatments that increase hunger.

Additionally, some diabetes drugs, including thiazolidinediones, insulin, and insulin secretagogues, are known to make you feel more hungry and hungrier (64Trusted Source).

There is some anecdotal evidence that birth control tablets can increase hunger, but there isn’t much solid scientific data to back this up.

It may be helpful to discuss alternative therapies with your doctor if you believe that your medicine is the root of your persistent hunger. Alternative drugs that don’t make you hungry might exist.

13) You eat too quickly.

How quickly you eat could have an impact on how hungry you feel.

In comparison to slow eaters, research have revealed that rapid eaters have larger appetites and a propensity to overeat at meals. Moreover, they are more prone to be obese or overweight.

Fast eaters in one research of 30 women ingested 10% more calories at a meal and felt considerably less satisfied than slow eaters.

Another study evaluated how dietary habits affect those with diabetes. Compared to fast eaters, those who ate a meal slowly experienced faster satiety and reported decreased hunger 30 minutes later.

When you eat too quickly, you skip chewing and become less conscious of what you’re eating, both of which are important to quell sensations of hunger.

Also, taking your time while eating and chewing allows your body and brain more time to release hunger-suppressing hormones and send fullness signals.

Mindful eating includes these methods.

Eating more slowly may be beneficial if you experience frequent hunger. This is possible by:

before meals, taking a few deep breaths
placing your fork down in between bites to give your meal more time to be thoroughly chewed

14) You have a health issue.

Regular hunger could be a sign of a sickness.

First, a basic diabetes warning symptom is persistent hunger. Very high blood sugar levels cause it to happen, and it is frequently accompanied by additional symptoms like excessive thirst, weight loss, and weariness.

Hunger is also a symptom of hyperthyroidism, a disorder marked by an overworked thyroid. This is because it results in excessive thyroid hormone production, which is known to increase appetite.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, might make you feel more hungry. If you haven’t eaten in a while, your blood sugar levels may drop; this impact may be made worse by a diet that is high in processed carbs and sugar.

Yet, hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and kidney failure are only a few of the illnesses that hypoglycemia is linked to.

Moreover, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, and sadness are a few other disorders that are frequently accompanied with excessive hunger.

It’s crucial to consult your doctor if you think you might have one of these disorders in order to get a proper diagnosis and go through your treatment choices.



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