Feeling always hungry is a pretty complicated state and is influenced by both biological and psychological factors. Experts confirmed that there are certain triggers for appetite even when we have no need to eat. Here are some of the most common reasons why some of us are constantly hungry.
YOU EAT A LOT OF REFINED CARBS
Lacking the satiating fiber of their original form, simple and refined carbs burn up quickly in your body, which spikes your blood sugar and then causes it to crash? Low glucose levels are what triggers your hunger hormones, leaving you with a craving for more carbs!
YOU’RE ACTUALLY THIRSTY
Did seeing that picture of water just make you forget about what you thought was a hungry tummy? One study found that drinking two cups of water before eating led people to consume 75 to 90 fewer calories over the course of a meal.
YOU’RE ALWAYS STRESSED OUT
You might not be able to control exactly what’s happening in your life that’s making you stressed, but you can control what you’re putting in your body.
YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
When you don’t get enough sleep, levels of leptin (the “I’m full” hormone) drop, which in turn increases appetite and makes comfort food more appealing.
YOU EAT ACCORDING TO CALORIES, NOT NUTRIENTS
It’s not calories that satiate your hunger, it’s nutrients: fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Start your day with a high-protein, high-fat food like Greek yogurt, a veggie-filled omelet, or chia pudding, and you’ll reduce your hunger overall.
YOU EAT TOO QUICKLY
When your entrée arrives, dive in and eat half, then wait at least 10 minutes before coming out for round 2. While you chat and sip water, your stomach will have a chance to digest and decide whether you’ve had enough— no matter what the plate’s saying.
YOU EAT WHILE WATCHING TV
Step away from the TV or computer and lower the music during dinner. As long as you can hear the food you are eating, it’ll make you aware of the fact that you’re actually eating food. When you’re unaware, you basically forget that you’re eating, which can lead to an increase in food consumption.
YOU SKIP MEALS
Try not to let more than 4 or 5 hours go by between meals, and keep healthy snacks on hand at all times to help curb hunger before it makes you overindulge.
YOUR SNACKS ARE IN PLAIN VIEW
Out of sight, out of mouth? We know snacking is important for keeping your metabolism going, but that doesn’t mean they should constantly be sitting on your desk. Keep snacks out of sight, and only reach for them when really hungry.
YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Besides the obvious sources of protein like meat and fish, load up on vegetarian sources throughout the day by sprinkling chia seeds in smoothies, eat quinoa in your granola bars, and dip carrots in hummus or apples in peanut butter.
Feeling hungry really can be caused by something as simple as boredom. When you’re bored you actually lose your ability to make smart food choices; you become an emotional eater.
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