Hunger is our body’s natural cue that there is more food requirement for the body. Many of us might leave for several hours between two meals without feeling too hungry. However, this is not same for everyone. There are several people who might always feel hungry, even after they have taken their food properly. In this article we will talk about the same. “Why do I always feel hungry?” If this is the question that is worrying you and if you want to discover what could be the reasons for always feeling hungry; then do read the following array of the article.

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Why Do I Always Feel Hungry?

You Are Not Eating Enough Protein:

One of the most important reasons why you might be feeling hungry always is that you are not eating enough protein. Eating more of protein is crucial enough for controlling appetite.

Some research has shown that consuming more protein can make a person feel less hungry. For example, a study conducted in 2015 year from China explained the effect of a diet containing high protein in 156 adolescents with obesity.(1)

Protein has got hunger-reducing properties that might aid you consume fewer calories automatically during the day. It actually works by increasing the production of those hormones that signal stomach fullness and by reducing the level of those hormones that is responsible to stimulate hunger. This is the reason why you might be feeling hungry frequently if you are not consuming enough of protein.

There are a lot of foods which are rich in protein, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, milk, yogurt, nuts, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains. You just need to add these foods to your diet so as to reduce hunger.

You Lack Enough Sleep:

One more reason why you always feel hungry could be lack of sleep. It is important to have enough of sleep for proper health. Getting adequate amount of sleep is one factor that controls appetite, as sleeping helps in regulating the appetite-stimulating hormone, known as Ghrelin. Lack of sleep causes an increase in the levels of ghrelin hormone, which in turn makes you feel hungry always.

So, you can keep the hunger levels under your control by having at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

You Have Low Fat Content In Your Diet:

Fat is very important for making you feel full. This is because of the slow gastrointestinal transit time of fat. This means fat takes longer time for our body to digest and it remains in the stomach for long time. Moreover, consuming foods rich in more of fat also results in releasing various hormones that promotes fullness.(2)

So, it is important for you to eat foods which are loaded with fats. Such foods include eggs, avocado, olive oils, full-fat yogurt, fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, walnuts and flaxseeds.

You Consume Too Many Of Refined Carbohydrates:

Another important reason for what is making you feel hungry is that you are consuming excess of refined carbohydrates. These refined carbohydrates have been processed and have been stripped of their vitamins, fiber and minerals. As refined carbohydrates lack fiber contents, our body digests them quite rapidly and this is why one might feel hungry always.

Some of the most popular food sources containing refined carbohydrates include white flour present in foods like pasta and bread, baked goods, soda, and candies which make use of processed sugars or the refined carbohydrates.

In order to reduce the levels of refined carbohydrates that you take, you just need to replace these foods with some healthier alternatives, such as whole foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables which are high in carbohydrates but are also loaded with fiber content which help in keeping your hunger under control for a long time.

Dehydration Is Making You Feel Hungry:

It is always essential for you to keep self well hydrated. Proper hydration keeps you in good health. Drinking adequate amount of water has got a lot of benefits, such as improved heart and brain health and also optimizes exercise performance. Moreover, water keeps the digestive system healthy. Water is even quite filling and it has also got the ability to reduce your appetite when it is taken before meals.

So, in order to ensure that you are well hydrated, drink adequate amount of water when you feel thirsty and eat lots of foods which are rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables, as they contribute to your hydration requirements.

You Take Your Food While You Are Distracted:

One more cause of why you might be feeling hungry always is that you eat your food when you are distracted. It generally happens in busy life. However, a distracted eating can actually be quite detrimental to your overall health and it is linked with a greater appetite, an increased intake of calorie as well as weight gain. The most important reason for this is when you are distracted while you are eating there is a reduction in your awareness of what quantity of food you are eating.

So, in order to prevent excess amount of hunger, you need to avoid eating while you are distracted. This scopes you to taste your food properly and also help you recognize the fullness signals of your body.

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There Is A Lack Of Fiber In Your Diet:

Another reason why you might be feeling hungry always could be that you eat foods that lack fiber.

Eating lots of fiber-rich foods is quite beneficial for keeping the hunger under your control. High-fiber rich foods slow the emptying rate of your stomach and also take longer time to digest than the low-fiber rich foods.(3)

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Moreover, foods loaded with high amount of fiber influences the release of hormones that are helpful in reducing appetite and also in production of short-chain fatty acids which help in promoting the fullness effects.

Some of the foods rich in soluble fiber include foods like flaxseeds, oatmeal, oranges, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts. You can also choose plant-based foods such as the fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and whole grains.

You Exercise Too Much:

Yet another cause of your frequent hunger feeling could be excessive amount of exercise and physical activity. People who frequently exercise are known to burn huge amount of calories.

It is found that individuals who vigorously exercise on a daily basis, tend to have faster body metabolism and thus they burn more calories than those individuals who moderately exercise or who live a sedentary lifestyle.

There are several studies that have shown that exercise is beneficial in suppressing appetite; however there are also evidences that vigorous and long-term workouts are associated with a greater appetite.

So, you can prevent frequent hunger from exercise by cutting back on your exercise time or by reducing the intensity level of your workouts.

You Consume A Lot Of Liquid Foods As Compared To Solid Foods:

If you consume a lot of liquid foods as compared to solid foods, it probably might happen that you will be feeling hungry always. This is because, liquid foods and solid foods affect our appetite in different ways. Liquid foods pass through the stomach more rapidly as compared to the solid ones.

There are even some studies that suggest that liquid foods do not have a fair impact on the suppression of the hormones that promote hunger, as compared to the solid ones. In addition to this, liquid foods take comparatively less time to eat than solid foods; and this might lead you to want more of them, because your brain has not had adequate time for processing the fullness signals.

So, in order to prevent frequent hunger, you might consume more of solid foods than the liquid ones.

Stress Is Making You Feel Hungry:

There is another reason why you might be feeling hungry always. Excessive amount of stress in life can increase appetite. This is because of the increasing cortisol levels, or the level of the hormone that has proven to be enhancing hunger as well as food cravings. This is the reason, why you might always feel hungry if you are experiencing lot of stress.

There are a lot of strategies which can be used for reducing the level of your stress. Some options are exercise and deep breathing.(4)

Certain Medications Make You Feel Hungry:

Certain medications are also known to cause side effects of an increased your appetite. The most common ones are the antipsychotics, such as olanzapine and clozapine and also antidepressants, corticosteroids, mood stabilizers, and anti-seizure medications. Apart from these, certain medications, like insulin, insulin secretagogues as well as thiazolidinedions are also known to increase your appetite and hunger.

In addition, there are also some anecdotal evidences that there is also a presence of appetite-stimulating properties in the birth control pills. However, it is not supported by any strong scientific study.

So, in case you are suspecting that your medications might be causing frequent hunger in you, you must make sure that you talk to your doctor about some other treatment options or some other alternative drugs for the same that might not make you feel always hungry.

Eating Too Fast:

Do you have a habit of eating too fast? If yes, then you might probably feel hungry always. It is found that the rate at which we consume our food may play a crucial role in how hungry we are.

This is partly because of the lack of chewing and because of a reduced awareness which occur when we eat too quickly, which are required to alleviate the hunger feelings. Moreover, eating food slowly and thoroughly chewing the food offer your body and brain enough time to release the anti-hunger hormones and also convey the fullness signals.

So, it is important for you to eat your food slowly and chew them well.

Consuming High-Salt Diet:

Another reason why you might be feeling always hungry is that you are probably consuming high-salt diet.

According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that people must consume not more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day. However, ideally, most adults must aim at eating below 1,500 milligrams of sodium every day.

Foods rich in salt might affect not only the heart but also might lead you to eat more. For example, in a study conducted during the year 2016, which involved 48 healthy individuals found that those people who had a high-salt diet consumed more food than those people who had a low-salt diet.(5)

Menopause Can Make You Feel Hungry:

There is another cause for what might be causing you to eat more or making you feel hungry always. According to some research, it is suggested that women who are going through menopause, are at an increased risk of gaining more weight. This is because of several factors, including the changes in their hormones.

As per a 2017 review, the reduction in estrogen hormones during the phase of menopause might lead to an increased level of appetite.(6)

Consuming Too Much of Alcohol:

Alcohol when consumed in excess can also cause hunger in you. Alcohol is known for its appetite-stimulating effects. There are studies that have suggested that alcohol might inhibit the hormones that are known to reduce appetite, such as the hormone leptin, especially when consumed before or along with the meals. This is the reason why people feel hungry too often if they drink excess of alcohol.

Research conducted in the year 2017 suggested that there is a link between alcohol and overeating and this may be because of the effect that alcohol has got on the hunger signals in your brain.(7)

Not only does alcohol got the ability of making you feel hungry always, but it also may impair the part of the brain that controls self-control and judgment; and when this happen, you may eat more and more, regardless of the fact you are hungry or not.

Thus, it is important for you to consume moderately or to avoid alcohol completely so as to reduce its hunger-inducing effects.

Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding is a phase in women which might make you feel always hungry. The breastfeeding women require extra calories for producing milks, and this might cause an increase in their appetite. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is recommended that lactating women must consume an additional 450-500 calories every day.

Specific Medical Conditions Make You Always Feel Hungry:

There are some medical conditions which may frequent cause hunger in you. Diabetes could be one of the major causes of frequent hunger. This occurs because of the extremely high levels of blood sugar and it is typically accompanied by several other symptoms like, weight loss, excessive thirst and fatigue.

Moreover, hyperthyroidism is also a condition that is known to be associated with increased hunger. This is because there is an excessive production of the thyroid hormones and these hormones are known to enhance your appetite.

Leptin hormone is the hormone that tells your brain when your stomach is full. The levels of leptin generally rise after you eat a meal. Leptin resistance is a condition where the body does not properly respond to leptin, and this might cause a person feel hungry always. There are many individuals who are obese or overweight and develop leptin resistance, which in turn make them feel always hungry.

You may also always feel hungry because of some other medical conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome.

It is always important for you to see your doctor if you have any of these conditions or if you suspect of having them and go for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatments.

Take Away:

So, from the above descriptions we are aware of some of the reasons why you always feel hungry. If you suspect any of the above reasons to be the cause of you feeling frequently hungry and if you can sort out the problem by yourself, it is well and good. However, in case you have any medical condition or if you medications are making you feeling hungrier then you definitely need to consult with your doctor and take the essential steps.

References:  

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: July 24, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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