- Diet & Weight Loss
8 Reasons You Are Still Feeling Hungry Even If You Are Consuming Enough Calories
Feeling frequently hungry and giving in to intense food cravings is perhaps one of the biggest reasons many people find it difficult to lose weight and stay in shape.
If you ate a calorie-rich meal, and still feel hungry one or two hours later chances are you are not experiencing real hunger and you don’t need to have another meal.
Your body is designed to want food, and often sends wrong messages that you need to eat even if you don’t require any more calories. Learning how to interpret those messages, and differentiate between real and false hunger can help you avoid consuming extra calories. Below are a few reasons you might be feeling hungry even if you have already consumed enough food\calories:
1. You Don’t Eat Enough Foods That Promote Satiety
Satiety or feeling full after eating a meal is important in order to manage your hunger and avoid cravings. Not all foods are equal when it comes to the level of satiety they promote. Simple carbohydrates tend to promote less satiety, while complex carbohydrates, fats and fiber tend to make you feel fuller. That is why you are able to eat a huge piece of cake and still feel hungry, but after eating a normal-sized portion of beans or oatmeal you end up feeling full for hours. Foods that are rich in fiber, protein and contain healthy fats are foods that will make you feel more satiated.
2. You Are Using Food To Deal With Stress
People tend to form unhealthy habits in order to deal with stress. Watch out if you have a tendency to eat when stressed out, especially unhealthy junk comfort foods. If you regularly do that you are teaching your brain to use food and eating as a measure of relaxation and that’s the reason you get hungry and psychologically crave food in stressful situations.
3. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can cause you to feel hungrier, because it increases the amounts of the hormone ghrelin (a hormone that sends hunger signals to the brain) in the blood. Also, being sleep deprived means you don’t have enough energy to perform your daily activities, and your body is trying to compensate for that by making you eat more.
4. Your Stomach Lining Is Irritated
An irritated stomach lining can produce symptoms of hunger pangs. Most common causes of irritated stomach lining are eating particular types of foods or consuming certain drinks (coffee, alcohol, hot and spicy foods), not chewing food well, having certain conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and gastritis, eating too much etc. Most people experience irritated stomach lining ocassionally, but if you experience this often you should probably visit a doctor.
5. Your Blood Sugar Could Be Low At The Moment
A drop in blood sugar is characterized by hunger, dizziness, anxiety, shakiness etc. It is important to detect when your hunger is caused by low blood sugar, not only to avoid unnecessary eating but also to keep an eye on your health. To avoid highs and lows in your blood sugar you need to keep a steady level of blood sugar, by eating foods rich with protein, nuts, vegetables, complex carbohydrates. Skipping meals can also cause blood sugar lows so make sure you are having regular meals.
6. Your Body Is Lacking Important Nutrients
Because your body doesn’t have a very sophisticated mechanism to signal which nutrients you actually need and\or lack, it makes you crave all kinds of foods, and unfortunately most of the time those are unhealthy junk foods. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, and get all the nutrients in quantities that you need.
7. You Are Thirsty
Your body can mistake thirst for hunger and receive mixed messages regarding hunger and thirst if you don’t drink enough water. To figure out of your hunger sensation comes from thirst or actual hunger, drink a big glass of water and if your hunger doesn’t subside chances are you might be genuinely hungry, or at least there are other reasons for your hunger sensations.
Alcohol stimulates certain areas and cells in the brain and in the body, and makes you hungry as a result, and often for unhealthy foods. Alcohol also decreases your inhibition and self-control ability so you end up eating large quantities of unhealthy and high-calorie foods as a result. That’s why in some traditions people drink alcoholic drinks before lunch to stimulate their appetite. However craving greasy and sugary foods is not something that we desire in our lives, especially if we are trying to avoid weight gain, so if you are trying to lose weight and get fit it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol.