5 Reasons You’re Hungry All the Time
Sometimes it can feel like, no matter how much or how often you eat, you’re still hungry seemingly minutes later. If you’re part of the always-hungry club, take a look at some potential reasons why.
1. Not Eating Enough
You may be hungry if you’re not eating enough calories to fuel your body’s metabolic needs. Or, it could be because you aren’t consuming adequate amounts of protein (like lean meat, eggs, fish, or tofu) and fiber-rich foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Protein and fiber are highly satiating because they reduce hunger hormone levels and take longer to break down in the body, respectively.
2. Exercising Too Much
Similar to not eating enough, you may feel hungry because you are exercising too much. Over-exercising increases your body’s caloric needs, and you may not be refueling properly to meet those needs. Even if you’re not actively exercising, you may be burning more calories than you take in if you are on your feet all day for work.
3. Mindless Eating
Mindless eating — like when we scarf down a large popcorn at the movies — can lead to overeating without feeling full. On the other hand, mindful eating involves removing distractions and paying close attention to the meal in front of you. Notice what the food looks like, smells like, and tastes like — and see if you are more comfortably satisfied after eating it.
4. High Stress and Poor Sleep
Stressful days can cause nights of poor sleep, which leads to more stress and fatigue in the morning. This vicious cycle increases cortisol levels — our primary stress hormone — and triggers your desire for sugary, greasy, or refined carbohydrate foods (think: donuts, bagels, chips). Coping with stress with meditation, journaling, exercise, or therapy can help to break this cycle.
Lastly, dehydration is a common cause of hunger. Research has shown many people often confuse hunger and thirst — especially during that late-afternoon slump. If you’re feeling extra hungry, make sure it’s not dehydration by first drinking a large glass of water. Still hungry? Go ahead and eat!