Hunger is your body’s natural signal that it requires more nourishment.
When you are hungry, your stomach may “growl” and feel empty, or you may experience a headache, become irritable, or lose concentration.
Most people can go many hours without eating before feeling hungry again, although this is not true for everyone.
A lack of protein, fat, or fibre in the diet and extreme stress or dehydration are all plausible factors.
This article discusses 13 reasons for excessive hunger.
01 You’re not eating enough protein.
Protein consumption is essential for appetite regulation.
Protein offers hunger-suppressing characteristics that may help you consume fewer calories throughout the day. It works by increasing the synthesis of hormones that signal fullness while decreasing hormones that induce appetite.
02 You’re not sleeping enough.
Getting enough sleep is critical for your health.
Sleep is necessary for your brain and immune system to function properly. Obtaining enough of it has been linked to a lower risk of various chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
Furthermore, getting enough sleep is important for hunger management because it helps regulate ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone. Sleep deprivation raises ghrelin levels, which explains why you may feel hungrier when you are sleep deprived.
03 You’re eating too many refined carbs.
Refined carbohydrates have been thoroughly processed, removing fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
White flour, which is present in many grain-based foods such as bread and pasta, is one of the most common sources of refined carbohydrates. In addition, foods prepared with processed sugars, such as soda, candy, and baked goods, are also considered refined carbohydrates.
Because refined carbohydrates lack satisfying fibre, your body digests them rapidly. This is a primary reason you may feel hungry frequently if you consume a lot of refined carbohydrates, as they do not create strong feelings of fullness.
04 Your diet is low in fat
Fat is essential for keeping you full.
This is partly due to its sluggish gastrointestinal transit time, which means it takes longer to digest and stays in your stomach for a longer amount of time. Furthermore, ingesting fat may cause the production of a variety of fullness-promoting hormones.
As a result of these factors, if you follow a low-fat diet, you may experience frequent hunger.
05 You’re not drinking enough water.
Proper hydration is critical for your overall health.
Drinking water has several health benefits, including improved brain and heart health and improved athletic performance. Water also maintains your skin and digestive system healthy.
Water is also highly filling and, when drank before meals, has the potential to lower hunger.
06 Your diet lacks fibre.
You may experience frequent hunger if your diet lacks fibre.
Consuming a variety of high-fibre foods aids in the control of appetite. This is because high fibre foods reduce the rate at which your stomach empties and take longer to digest than low fibre foods.
Furthermore, a high fibre diet promotes the release of appetite-reducing hormones and the creation of short-chain fatty acids, which have been found to promote fullness.
It is crucial to note that there are several forms of fibre, and some are more effective than others at keeping you full and reducing hunger. For example, several studies have discovered that soluble fibre, which dissolves in water, fills more than insoluble fibre.
07 You eat while you’re distracted.
If you lead a hectic lifestyle, you may frequently eat while distracted.
Although it may save you time, distracted eating is bad for your health. It has been linked to increased hunger, increased calorie consumption, and weight gain.
The fundamental reason for this is that distracted eating causes you to lose track of how much you’re eating. As a result, it makes it difficult to recognise your body’s fullness signals as effectively as when you are not preoccupied.
08 You exercise a lot
People who exercise regularly burn a lot of calories.
This is especially true if you regularly engage in high-intensity exercise or long-duration physical activity, such as marathon training.
It’s crucial to remember that this generally pertains to ardent athletes and work out frequently at high intensity or for extended periods. You generally don’t need to boost your calorie intake if you exercise modestly.
09 You’re drinking too much alcohol.
The appetite-stimulating effects of alcohol are well documented.
Studies have proven alcohol to block hormones that reduce appetite, such as leptin, especially when drunk before or alongside meals. As a result, if you consume too much alcohol, you may experience frequent hunger.
10 You drink your calories.
Your appetite is affected differently by liquid and solid foods.
If you eat many liquid meals, such as smoothies, meal replacement shakes, and soups, you may feel hungrier more frequently than if you ate more solid items.
One of the main reasons for this is that liquids move through your stomach faster than solid foods.
It may help to focus on including more solid, whole foods into your diet to avoid frequent hunger.
11 You’re overly stressed.
Excessive stress has been shown to enhance hunger.
This is primarily due to its impact on cortisol levels, a hormone known to drive appetite and food cravings. As a result, if you are under a lot of stress, you may discover that you are always hungry.
12 You’re taking certain medications.
Several drugs might cause an increase in hunger as a side effect.
Antipsychotics, such as clozapine and olanzapine, antidepressants, mood stabilisers, corticosteroids, and antiseizure medicines, are among the most commonly used appetite stimulants.
13 You eat too fast
The rate at which you eat may influence how hungry you are.
Several studies have found that rapid eaters had larger appetites and tended to overeat at meals than slow eaters. As a result, they are also more likely to be obese or overweight.
The bottom line
Excessive hunger is an indication that your body requires more nourishment.
It is frequently caused by an imbalance in hunger hormones, which can arise for various causes, including poor diet and certain lifestyle practices.
If your diet lacks protein, fibre, or fat, all of which promote fullness and lower desire, you may feel hungry frequently. Extreme hunger is sometimes a symptom of a lack of sleep and persistent stress.
Your hunger may also indicate that you are not eating enough, which may be remedied by simply increasing your food consumption.
If you find yourself eating too quickly or being distracted at mealtimes, you can try mindful eating, which seeks to reduce distractions, boost focus, and slow your chewing to help you recognise when you’re full.