These 12 reasons why you’re always hungry are easily avoidable and today I’ll show you just how to keep that hunger monster in check.
1. You’re Skipping Meals
If you think you’ll lose 20 pounds the safe way by skipping meals, you are sorely mistaken.
When you skip meals, you put yourself at a higher risk of eating more later.
The important thing isn’t to hit a certain number of meals, but to maintain a consistent meal schedule. You tend to get hungry at the same times no matter what, and keeping constant meal times ensures you can eat when you’re hungry.
2. You’re Slacking on Protein
Why is it so important to eat enough protein?
Protein takes longer for your body to digest, so when you eat enough protein throughout the day, you stave off hunger pangs. It also slows down the digestion of carbs.
The fix: Stick to healthy and delicious protein-packed snacks to keep the hunger monster away.
3. You Eat Too Fast
You may have a tendency to shovel food in your mouth when you’re really busy without thinking about how you’re messing up your digestion in a big way.
Sure, you’re gulping down healthy food, but you feel hungry within minutes of eating.
Consider this: it takes around 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal from your digestive system that you’re full.
Let’s say you rush through a nutritious and well balanced lunch in 10 minutes. Your brain is going to keep thinking you’re hungry and you’re just going to keep on eating even if you’re actually full.
See how easy it is for you to overeat?
Besides giving ample notice to your brain, there are other hormones dependent on your eating patterns that also need time to work.
Researchers from one study discovered higher levels of satiety hormone peptide YY in participants who ate a 30 minute meal instead of a 5 minute meal.
Additionally, studies have proven that when you take longer to chew your food, you not only consume 10% fewer calories, but you also feel fuller when you’re done. Sounds like a win-win to me!
The fix: Chew each bite between 5–50 times before swallowing; or place your fork down between bites to slow you down.
4. You’re Lacking Fat
Most people immediately assume that all fat is bad fat, but this myth couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fats help slow digestion and increase satiety for hours.
The fix: Add more of these surprisingly healthy fatty foods to your diet.
5. You’re Choosing the Wrong Carbs
If you’re eating simple, processed carbs such as white bread, cookies, and pizza, it’s hard to stay full while eating the right amount of calories to lose weight.
These foods tend to be low in fiber, which makes them less satiating.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, such as quinoa, oats, and whole wheat, offer your body slow-digesting energy and fiber that makes you feel satisfied instead of starving.
The fix: Switch out that bagel for homemade overnight oats, choose whole wheat bread over white bread, and use quinoa or brown rice instead of pasta or white rice.
6. You Need More Fiber
Despite the fact that the average adult only eats 15 g of fiber every day, men need around 38 g of fiber per day and women need about 25 g .
That’s a lot of missed fiber opportunities if you ask me.
Insoluble fiber is what keeps our digestion moving (see ya later constipation!). But soluble fiber actually slows down the process a bit.
Don’t worry; this is a good thing!
Soluble fiber turns into a consistency similar to gel and delays digestion so your body has more time to absorb nutrients and feel satisfied.
The fix: Get to know things like chia seeds, hemp, nuts and other seeds. And include more fiber filled veggies to make your meals last longer.
7. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
You may not know you’re dehydrated until it’s too late. By the time you’re in the full blown dry mouth/fatigue stage, you’re already playing catch-up.
Keep drinking water throughout the day.
If you’re feeling hungry, drink a large glass of water and wait 20 minutes for the signals to get to your brain that you’re ‘full’. If you feel ok, you were probably just thirsty.
If you’re hungry because you’re trying to lose weight and decrease your caloric intake, water’s going to be your best friend.
The fix: Keep drinking water throughout the day.
8. You’re Surrounded By Food
Food seems to be everywhere right now, and we can’t get away from it.
We’re bombarded with food on TV and all over social media; food porn hashtags on Instagram, your friends’ snapshots of their paleo Asian food on Facebook, and mouth-watering recipes with drool worthy pictures on Pinterest.
Is this helping or hurting us?
One study says that when healthy participants viewed images of delicious food, their ghrelin levels increased.
This is the same sensation you get when you smell the delicious aroma of food cooking.
The fix: Stop torturing yourself and lay off the food porn, especially before a meal when you might accidentally overeat because of your stimulated appetite.
9. You’re Not Eating By Volume
Choose foods that pack more volume than calories.
For example, 100 g of raw kale is 33 calories. However, 100 g of french fries from McDonald’s is 323 calories.
Here’s the thing: you’ll get full on kale, but you’ll be hungry after those french fries.
Choose foods that contain lots of fiber and water to literally fill you up and give your digestion something to do:
- Leafy greens
Just like a bored child, occupy your digestion and you won’t hear it whine.
We talked about diet and lifestyle factors being reasons for your constant hunger today, but keep in mind that issues like hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and extra hard workouts may all be reasons your tummy’s grumbling a little more than usual.
If you can’t fight off your hunger using these tips, speak to your doctor in case something’s up.
There’s no reason for you to be hangry around the ones you live or work with, it’s just not a good look for you.