Hunger — a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. While deemed as annoying, hunger is a useful and necessary human drive. It keeps your muscles building, brain functioning, and helps you recover from physical activity.
Ever have those days where no matter how much you eat, you always seem to be hungry?
“Uhhh yeah Tom, story of my life.”
So what gives?
Well I’ve got good news for you… It may be a pretty simple fix after reading this article. Here are some of the most common reasons you’re hungry all the time, and how to fix it.
Note: When dieting, hunger is inevitable (to an extent).
1) You’re not eating enough protein. 🍖
Protein is proven to be the thing that will keep you feeling full and your beautiful body needs it to function (it’s the fundamental building block of your body). It is the most satiating food group compared to carbohydrates and fats. Eating more protein will help keep more full at meals and between meals leaving you less likely to mindlessly snack. I recommend a range of .7-1 gram/lb of body weight of protein to aim for daily.
2) You’re not sleeping enough. 😴
Sleep is a critical factor in controlling our appetite hormones; ghrelin & leptin. An adequate amount of sleep helps regulate ghrelin, which is our appetite stimulating hormone. Meaning lack of sleep leads to higher ghrelin levels, resulting in more hunger & cravings = No bueno for fat loss. Furthermore, a lack of sleep decreases leptin hormone, which is the satiety hormone. Meaning you won’t feel as full from your normal meals, which may result in you eating more than usual. To keep these hormones in check, I recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
3) You’re drinking your calories. 🥤
This one should be a no brainer. Liquids & solid foods digest differently in the body. Smoothies, shakes, soups, and your “foo-foo” Starbucks order pass through the stomach more rapidly than solid foods, leaving you hungrier sooner than you would be if you ate a solid meal. To prevent constant hunger, try swapping out your liquid calories for some whole foods like lean protein, fruit and/or veggies.
4) You’re eating too fast. ⚡️
Yoooo, slow your roll. A study with 30 women showed that those who ate at a faster rate, ate 10% more at meals and reported significantly less fullness compared to slow eaters. Eating slower and chewing your food thoroughly allows your body and brain more time to release the ghrelin hormone as stated above which will say, “hey brain! I’m your stomach, and I’m full! You can stop feeding me now please and thank you.” ☺️
5) You’re not eating enough fiber. 🥗
High-fiber foods could be the missing piece to keeping your appetite under control. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a client of mine tell me how full they are and can’t believe they are eating this much food and losing weight at the same time, I could quit my day job. Ok, not really, but I hear it a lot. High-fiber foods slow the stomachs emptying rate and take longer to digest compared to low-fiber foods.
It’s important to note that there are different types of fiber (soluble and insoluble) and one is better than the other at keeping you satiated. Studies have shown that soluble fiber to be more filling than insoluble fiber. This is because soluble fiber absorbs and dissolves in water, resulting in an increased volume in your stomach. We have stretch receptors in our stomachs that response to the volume of food we eat. And when these become activated by high volume foods like fibrous veggies, we get full. #diethack 🙌🏼
Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, lentils, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, and flax and chia seeds. Incorporate more of these foods into your diet, and you’ll be just as amazed as my clients were.
If you find yourself constantly hungry, implementing these tips above can surely help solve this annoying and uncomfortable feeling. Give these tips a try, and you’ll be less likely to reach for those snacks between meals. Ultimately, if after implementing this tips to keep hunger at bay and you still find yourself hungry all of the time, it may be worth while to get a medical check up to see if there are any underline causes leaving you feeling empty inside (pun intended). Also, take a critical look at your diet and lifestyle to see if there is anything else you can change that will help.