Hunger is the physiological desire for calories, water, and salt, which is driven by a mix factors that includes diet, appetite hormones and stress. When you’re hungry, nothing else seems to matter. The quickest solution you seek for is food. It’s one thing to notice an uptick in appetite if you’ve been training hard at the gym or if you’re pregnant. But when you always feel like famished for no obvious reason, then something’s up. Always feeling hungry can derail the strongest willpower and get you unstable for a long time. Then you begin to ask yourself: why do I get hungry always? Understanding why you’re always hungry can help to defeat excessive hunger and get you to healthier and conscious eating. Here are some identified reasons for getting hungry too often.
“Slight dehydration can sometimes give you a feeling of hunger. When dehydration sets in, the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates both appetite and thirst) sends a signal to your brain leading you to grab a plate of meal instead of a bottle of water. This feeling can be controlled by having sufficient water intake daily especially in the morning.
Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones in the body that are linked to appetite and fullness respectively. Sleeplessness or too little sleep may lead to an increased level ghrelin and a decreased level of leptin which makes you have a feeling of hunger even if you’re not hungry. Target about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night; you’ll have a balanced ghrelin and lepton level.
Stress has a way of making you hungry. When you’re tense, your system upgrades the production of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. When these hormones rise, it tricks your system to demand more energy, so your appetite starts raging. Stress also decreases the level of the brain chemical serotonin, and that can make you feel hungry when you aren’t.
Studies have shown that people who are addicted to drinking alcohol have the feeling of hunger and are more likely to consume foods higher in calories after drinking alcohol. You can revoke this effect by eating before you drink and make sure to alternate your cocktails with water, so you stay hydrated.
Protein promotes a feeling of fullness. It has an appetite-suppressing effect. Aim for at least 46 grams of protein per day (Greek yogurt, eggs, lean meat and whole grains). Having your plate of meal lean in protein may lead to hunger.
Just like protein, unsaturated fat is also linked to feelings of satiety. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction, and you are more likely to listen to your hunger cues and not eat again until you are truly hungry. Add this brain-boosting and heart-healthy fat to your meals in the form of oils, nuts and seeds and avocados.
Even if you don’t like taking breakfast, try and eat something in the morning before work. Keeping your stomach empty for so long produces an uptick in the hunger hormone ghrelin, which raises your appetite. Try not to let more than 4 to 5 hours go by between meals.
Drugs which contain Antidepressants such as Paxil and Zoloft, as well as corticosteroids such as prednisone (recommended to treat potentially dangerous flare-ups of the immune system due to allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, and some cancers), could affect appetite. These medications need food for perform in the body.