If you’re constantly feeling hungry despite eating regularly, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with persistent hunger, which can be frustrating and make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. So why is it that you’re always hungry? I’m about to tell you about the common reasons why you might always be hungry, along with tips for managing your appetite and staying satisfied throughout the day. So let’s begin.
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1. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient that helps to build and repair tissues in your body. It’s also known to be more satiating than carbohydrates and fats, meaning it can help you feel fuller for longer. If you’re not eating enough protein, you may find yourself feeling hungry shortly after a meal.
To combat this, aim to include a source of protein in every meal and snack. Good options include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Most experts agree that adults should aim to consume around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For instance, an individual weighing 70 kg should aim to eat 56 grams of protein per day.
2. You’re Dehydrated
Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, as the symptoms are similar. When you’re dehydrated, your body may send hunger signals to encourage you to consume more fluids. To prevent dehydration-related hunger, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Aim for at least eight cups of water per day, and more if you’re active or live in a hot climate.
3. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Generally speaking, lack of sleep is known to disrupt the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may find yourself reaching for snacks and comfort foods throughout the day.
To solve the problem, aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid screens for an hour before bed, and make sure your sleep environment is cool, dark, and quiet.
4. You’re Eating Too Many Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and sugary snacks can cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling hungry and irritable. If you’re consuming a lot of these types of foods, you may find yourself constantly craving more.
To manage your appetite, aim to replace refined carbs with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods contain fiber, which can help to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and keep you feeling full for longer.
5. You’re Stressed
Studies suggest that stress is a common trigger for emotional eating. Because it can lead to a surge in the hormone cortisol, which can stimulate appetite. Therefore if you’re feeling stressed, you may find yourself reaching for comfort foods or snacking more frequently throughout the day.
To manage stress-related hunger, try to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time outdoors. You can also try to plan ahead for stressful situations by packing healthy snacks or meals to take with you.
6. You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient that can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. It slows down digestion and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which can have a positive impact on your overall health. To increase your fiber intake, aim to consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Experts believe that most adults should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
7. You’re Skipping Meals
Skipping meals may seem like a good way to save calories, but it can actually backfire and lead to increased hunger and overeating later in the day. When you skip meals, your blood sugar levels drop, which can trigger hunger signals and cause you to crave high-calorie foods.
To prevent this, try to eat regular meals throughout the day, including breakfast. A balanced meal that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats can help you feel full and satisfied for longer.
8. You’re Not Eating Mindfully
Eating while distracted, such as while watching TV or scrolling on your phone, can make it difficult to recognize feelings of fullness and lead to overeating. When you’re not paying attention to your food, it’s easy to eat more than you need.
To stop mindless eating, try to eat in a calm environment without distractions. Take your time to savor each bite, and pay attention to how your body feels as you eat. This can help you recognize when you’re full and prevent overeating.
9. You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Several studies have reported that alcohol can increase appetite and reduce inhibitions, which can lead to overeating and poor food choices. If you’re consuming a lot of alcohol, you may find yourself feeling hungry more frequently.
To manage alcohol-related hunger, limit your alcohol intake to moderate levels. Most experts recommend that women consume no more than one drink per day and men consume no more than two drinks per day.
10. You Have an Underlying Health Condition
In some cases, persistent hunger can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, like diabetes, hypothyroidism, or depression; however, if you’re experiencing frequent hunger and don’t know why it’s best to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
The Bottom line
Feeling hungry all the time can be frustrating and make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. However, there are many things you can do to manage your appetite and stay satisfied throughout the day. By focusing on nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and eating mindfully, you can help keep hunger at bay and improve your overall health and well-being.
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