Food is our main energy source. Thus, if you’re running low on calories, your body will send signals to let you know that you need to eat. However, for some people, they feel unsatisfied even after eating their meals. Basically, your body craves for more food due to various causes. To give you a better idea, here are five possible reasons you’re always hungry.
1. You’re Not Drinking Enough Fluids
Oftentimes, we think that we’re hungry when we are actually thirsty. This is perfectly normal because the hypothalamus (part of the brain) has the same response to these two types of cravings. Thus, if you feel like your body is begging for some food, try drinking a glass of water instead. If you’re still hungry after 15 or 20 minutes, then you can grab a healthful snack or meal.
Remember, keeping yourself well-hydrated at all times is vital not only for your weight but your overall health as well. To avoid dehydration, health experts recommend drinking about 1.5 to 2.5 liters of fluids, preferably water, every day. You may need to increase your fluid intake if you have an active lifestyle.
Aside from that, you can also satisfy your hunger and thirst by eating water-rich foods such as watermelons, cucumbers, oranges, celery, and iceberg lettuce.
2. You’re Under Too Much Stress
Constant stress is one of the most common reasons you’re always hungry. Initially, being under pressure can suppress your appetite. However, when stress persists, your body will start to crave for a lot of foods. This occurs due to the high levels of cortisol. Basically, this stress hormone tricks you into thinking that your body needs more energy, leading to overeating. Additionally, constant stress can also lower your serotonin levels, which may also result in more food cravings.
To avoid incessant food cravings and other negative effects of constants stress, health experts recommend adding relaxing activities in your daily or weekly schedule. Joining a yoga class is one way to calm your mind, body, and spirit. You can also try meditating, exercising, deep breathing or any activity that can uplift your mood.
3. You’re Not Getting Adequate Sleep
With today’s busy lifestyle, most of us would sacrifice some hours of sleep to finish an important project or assignment. However, lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and a weak immune system. But, that’s not all. Sleep deprivation is another common reason you’re continuously craving for foods.
To explain further, when you’re not getting enough sleep, your body has high amounts of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can also lead to low levels of leptin – the hormone that promotes the feeling of satiety.
In general, getting about seven to eight hours of sleep is essential to avoid overeating, reduce stress, beat chronic fatigue, and improve your overall health.
4. You’re Following a Low-Fat Diet
Aside from the above-mentioned reasons you’re always hungry, another possible cause is your diet. One, in particular, is when you avoid all kinds of fats.
Today, several studies have revealed that not all fats are dangerous. In fact, your body needs some healthy oils to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and function efficiently. Moreover, fats can also prevent hunger by making you feel full and satisfied.
Thus, if you want to lose some pounds, adding some high-fat foods like avocados and olive oil can help your weight loss journey. Aside from that, omega-3 fatty acids are also essential substances for a healthy brain and heart. The best sources of this healthful fats are walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
5. A Side Effect of Some Medications
The last in this list of reasons you’re always hungry is your medication – if you’re taking one. As you know, most drugs can help heal your body, but these products can also cause undesirable effects such as a headache, drowsiness, or constipation.
Some drugs can also boost your appetite such as antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and corticosteroids. You may also experience this effect if you’re taking antidiabetic medications like insulin and thiazolidinedione. Lastly, some anecdotal evidences show that birth control pills can also trigger constant hunger.
However, you can’t stop taking your medications. You can ask your doctor if there are other alternatives. They can also recommend some lifestyle changes you can do to avoid weight gain.
- Relationship between Hunger and Thirst (NCBI)
- Stress Causes People to Overeat (Harvard)
- Sleep Deprivation and Ghrelin Levels (NCBI)
- Fat and Satiety (NCBI)
- Weight Gain in Patients Taking Antipsychotic Drugs (NCBI)