Are you always feeling hungry? Hunger is a natural part of life, and to a certain extent getting used to a bit of hunger may not be a bad idea. However constant hunger is extremely uncomfortable and can cause overeating and weight gain, and could even be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Below are possible causes of your always feeling hungry. Try each one of these out and see if it helps. If nothing works, as discussed below, you may wish to look into seeing a doctor to see if there is an underlying medical condition.
Too Much Sugar and Processed Carbs
Have you been eating lots of sugar and processed carbs lately? Sugar and processed carbs both raise the glucose level in your body very rapidly, and basically create sugar spikes. What happens is this usually leads to a sugar crash, making you very hungry or tired shortly afterwards.
When you over-consume sugar, you can also become leptin-resistant, which means that your body does not get the message that you are full.
Until you get your constant hunger under control, you should probably also avoid fruits, fruit juices, milk and yogurt as all these contain sugar and may be creating sugar spikes in your body.
If you need to have something sweet, Stevia is a great natural herb with zero calories that you can use as a sweetener for your beverages and meals, without the sugar spikes!
Lack of Protein, Fiber and/or Good Fats
Protein, fiber and good fats all give you a feeling of fullness and they are also excellent for your weight loss efforts and general health. If you are not getting enough of these, try incorporating them in your diet. Turkey meat, chicken, almonds, cauliflower, broccoli organic butter and coconut oil are all weight loss friendly foods that will help you feel full for longer.
Psyllium husk is a great fiber supplement that may help to reduce your appetite. It is also a great colon cleanser. The husk when combined with water, swells up to 10-20 times its original size in your stomach. Make sure to drink with plenty of water. Never drink the husk just by itself as that will cause choking!
You may feel hungry when actually you are simply dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids (ideally water) throughout the day. According to Mayo Clinic, drinking at least 8 cups of 8-ounce fluids a day is recommended.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep causes you to be hungry, and sometimes always feeling hungry, because the hormone that triggers hunger (ghrelin) is increased when you don’t get enough sleep. At the same time, not sleeping enough also reduces leptin, which is a hormone that tells your body that you are full. Lack of sleep also causes a state of stress, which leads to even more hunger. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
Stress and Emotional Eating
Many people try to soothe their exhaustion, stress or uncomfortable feelings by eating their favorite foods. They do this to distract themselves or reward themselves. This may potentially lead to psychological dependency on food and constant cravings. Try addressing these negative emotions in a more constructive way. Effective methods include talking about the subject with someone, exercise and meditation.
Always Feeling Hungry? Breakfast May Be The Cause
Do you eat breakfast every morning and end up always feeling hungry all day long? Breakfast may make some people even hungrier, no matter what they eat. This apparently may be due to the fact that our cortisol (stress hormone) levels are at their peak in the morning and when you eat during this time, insulin levels rise rapidly resulting in a sugar drop (hunger).
This method may not work for everyone, but if nothing else has worked, you may wish to try skipping breakfast or delaying it for as long as possible (note that the first few days will be tough).
This is actually a form of intermittent fasting, which is becoming noticed also as an effective weight loss method. One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is said to be the normalization of your hunger hormones. If you are interested, make sure to read this page on intermittent fasting.
Underlying Medical Condition
If none of the above works and you continue to have constant hunger, there may be an underlying medical condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, the following conditions can cause increased appetite:
- Diabetes mellitus (including gestational diabetes)
- Graves’ disease
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Bulimia (most common in women 18 – 30 years old)
Certain drugs may also cause increased appetite. According to the National Institutes of Health, these include corticosteroids, cyproheptadine, and tricyclic antidepressants.
If you are going through a challenging time, don’t be surprised if you have a harder time managing your eating habits and don’t be too hard on yourself! However just make sure to eventually and/or slowly get your hunger pangs under control, as having constant hunger over a long period of time can lead to overeating, weight gain and possible health issues.