Nutrition

Why Do I Always Feel Hungry? 5 Reasons You’re Not Feeling Full

Okay, so a healthy appetite can be a virtue, but what’s the deal when you feel peckish all the time even though you feel like you are eating all that a healthy person should?
A healthy appetite is just one reason, and when you feel like you are eating too much the ‘healthy’ part takes a hit.

Here we will give you a rundown of the top 5 reasons why your belly is grumbling after you thought you had gone and got your fill.

Your Work-Nutrition Balance Is Off

A healthy lifestyle is, after all about balance. You could say we are starting with a positive one here: the reason you’re hungry isn’t because you’re destined to be overweight, it might well be because you’re working so darn hard. For every muscle worked, every mile run, every minute of stress from overtime at your day job, you are burning calories and using up the nutrients your body needs to run at its best and brightest. So if you are not keeping those fuel levels topped up (with the right fuel) then you will feel tired, your systems won’t run as they should, and if you spare a moment to realize it, you will work out that you are simply hungry and have not gotten the right amount of protein and carbs to keep you going.

This also means you need to stick to a meal pattern and not skip on it, even if you think you can.

Meal Frequency

Refined Isn’t All Fine

If you think that you are eating plenty but it still doesn’t feel like enough, then the question is whether you are putting the right fuel in your tank. If you put diesel in a petrol engine, it’s not going to work. Refined carbs or empty carbs are just that: they are fuel, but not the kind to keep you running on full power in your day-to-day. Refined carbs are also known as simple carbs or processed carbs. Because they’ve been stripped of their nutritional value and vitamins they are considered ‘empty carbs.’ Your body also digests them quickly, meaning that your blood sugar and insulin levels will spike.

The main dietary sources of refined carbs are processed foods, white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars. After eating them you might feel like you are incredibly full, bordering sleepy, but this is due to that spike and the likely intense hit of sugar and fats that you don’t need. The answer is to get the right carbs that give you the fuel you need, including:

  • Fresh/frozen meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Fresh or frozen unsweetened fruits
  • All vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Unsweetened nut butter
  • Unsweetened coconut

Hydration Comes First

A great tip for when you next feel like nibbling on something in between meals is to drink a pint of water and wait for a quarter of an hour. Many people respond to feelings of dehydration by eating a snack. Your hypothalamus is responsible for both your hunger and thirst, so in other words, you may just be confused inside as to what your body needs. Add to this the fact drinking water could also help you lose weight. For anyone struggling with obesity or unwanted pounds, if you’ve been snacking to help with hydration then a few more glasses of H2O every day could save you taking on more unnecessary calories.

top 10 healthy habits

Stress Kills… And Makes You Hungry

Ever noticed how when you’re stressed and busy you don’t eat? The common theme is saying something along the lines of ‘I don’t have time to eat,’ or ‘I’m way too busy for thinking about diets.’ There’s a reason for that, and it’s one you might have previously thought was advantageous to trimming down. Stress pumps up your adrenaline, which puts your desire for food on hold. The trouble is if stress is a regular occurrence and is allowed to take over, your adrenal glands release cortisol, which is a hormone that sets off your hunger hormones. Cortisol also pulls lipids from your bloodstream to be stored in your fat cells.

The answer to stress leaving you hungry, while simultaneously killing your appetite is to eat little and often so that you don’t struggle with digestion and get the amount of fuel you need even if it doesn’t feel like you need it.

A Lack Of Sleep Is Making You Peckish

When you don’t sleep properly or get too many late nights and disrupt your pattern, your body’s leptin levels drop. This hormone tells you when you’re full and increases your appetite. Late nights and tiredness leave you feeling weak and in need of food for strength, but also mean that you are burning fewer calories while increasing your cortisol levels.

You need a regular sleeping pattern for many reasons, and if diet and eating don’t bother you then maybe the fact your muscles won’t regenerate their strength after exercise will make you wake up… and get to sleep.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/.


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