Feeling hungry is normal. It is a sign that your body needs food. Since your body relies on food for energy, you have to eat for you to be energetic. When you’re hungry your stomach feels empty, growls, you’re unable to concentrate, and sometimes you might have a headache. Feeling hungry is normal, though if your stomach has a constant rumble for food even after a meal, there is something going wrong with your health.
Most people go for several hours between meals without feeling hungry. However, this might not be the case for you. There is a possibility of having a disease, when the organism feels constant hunger. Polyphagia (extreme hunger) is a sign that your body needs a checkup. Though, there are many other explanations behind frequent and extreme hunger, ranging from diet to excessive stress. Here are the ten reasons why you’re feeling always hungry.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Lack of enough sleep affects how often you feel hungry and how much you eat. Sleeping for short durations inhibits leptin (a hormone that reduces hunger and appetite) and increases the level of ghrelin (a hormone responsible for increased appetite and hunger). This is the reason why people who sleep for fewer hours gain more weight compared to those who sleep for long durations.
You’re not drinking enough water
Water has a couple of health benefits, including keeping your digestive system in a good state and skin healthy. Moreover, it supports your heart and brain health, and many more. When water is consumed before taking meals, it reduces appetite. People who drink water consume fewer calories, than those who don’t. The thirst feeling can also be mistaken for hunger. To curb frequent hunger due to poor hydration drink a glass or two glasses of water, when you feel hungry and eat water-rich food (fruits and vegetables).
Your diet is low on fats, proteins, and fiber
Proteins, fats, and fiber have hunger reducing properties that decrease the number of calories you consume per day. Eating protein rich, fiber rich or foods with healthy fats can help reduce frequent hunger. People who eat proteins are not always hungry as compared to those who eat snacks. People who eat refined carbs are always hungry. Since refined carbs lack fiber they’re digested faster and they do not promote the feeling of fullness. Having a balanced diet can help alleviate frequent hunger.
Feeling hungry due to excessive workouts
People who exercise burn more calories than those who don’t. If you exercise a lot your body will demand more calories making you feel always hungry. Exercises increase the rate of metabolism and those who exercise a lot have a high metabolism rate than those who don’t. To curb the frequent hunger eat foods that are high in proteins, fiber, and healthy fats. Reducing the intensity and duration of your workouts can also help alleviate frequent hunger.
Stress increases your appetite. Stress increases the level of cortisol (a hormone that is responsible for hunger and craving for hunger) that makes you feel always hungry. Stressed people consume more calories throughout the day compared to those who aren’t stressed. Exercise in deep breathing because it helps reduce stress levels.
You’re taking some appetite inducing medication
Some medication has increased appetite as their side effects. Appetite inducing medications include anti-depressors, anti-seizure, diabetes medications (insulin secretagogues, insulin, and thiazolidinediones), corticosteroids, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics drugs, such as olanzapine and clozapine. If you suspect that your prescribed medication is the cause of the increased hunger, talk to your doctor to give you alternative treatment options.
You eat too fast
The rate at which you eat affects how often you feel hungry. Fast eaters have a great appetite as compared to the slow eaters. Those who eat slowly become full quickly. On the other hand, eating slowly gives your body and mind time to release the anti-hunger hormone that makes you feel full. To reduce your rate of eating, take deep breathes before the meal and then put down the fork between bites. You can also eat half the meal you’re served, relax for 5-10 minutes before round two.
You have a medical condition
Frequent hunger can be a sign of a disease. Hyperthyroidism (over reactive thyroids) increases hunger. Extreme hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and excessive thirst are signs of high blood sugar levels. Excessive hunger can also be a symptom of anxiety, depression and premenstrual syndrome. If you suspect you have any of the above-mentioned conditions talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
You skip meals
Some people skip some meals thinking that it helps in fast weight loss. Instead, they end up gaining more weight. In fact, skipping a meal makes you feel always hungry and craving for snacks. People who don’t skip their breakfast meals don’t crave for unhealthy snacks in the restaurants. So, don’t skip your healthy meal to go have the unhealthy snacks. Instead, eat your meals and avoid the snacks.
You often drink alcohol
Alcohol has an appetite stimulating effect. When consumed before meals it inhibits leptin (a hormone that reduces appetite). People who drink too much alcohol have great appetite than those who drink moderately. Alcohol not only makes hungry but also affects the part of the brain that is responsible for judgemental and self-control making you eat more regardless of how hungry you feel. Moderate alcohol consumption or completely avoiding it will help curb its hunger-inducing effects.
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