“I’ve never been so hungry in my entire life.”
– Me every two hours
If you’re one of those people who think about what they’re gonna have for their second breakfast while eating their first breakfast, we can totally be friends.
But, all jokes aside, here are 5 alarming reasons why you might always be hungry.
1. Low Blood Sugar
Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps glucose (sugar) in the blood to enter cells and be used as energy, is very sensitive to carbohydrates and sugar.
When you haven’t eaten, your low blood sugar and low insulin levels will serve as signals of low energy availability and stimulate hunger.
As you eat, especially carbohydrates, your insulin levels increase and let your body know that there’s energy (glucose) available and reduces hunger.
If you notice that you’ve eaten a lot, but don’t feel full, it might be because you haven’t eaten enough carbohydrates and your blood sugar levels are still low.
This typically happens when people have protein and fat-only meals.
On the other hand, carbohydrate-only meals will spike your blood sugar levels and make them come back down quickly, which will leave you feeling tired, lethargic, and hungry.
The key here is to have a well-balanced meal with little carbohydrates and fats, lots of vegetables, and high in protein.
2. Not Eating Enough Fiber
This is one of the most common reasons people are always hungry.
Not all foods are created equal, some of them are digested slower than others, provide more nutrients, and give a better sense of fullness.
Fiber is crucial for maintaining digestive health.
It also helps you better absorb the nutrients from foods and slows digestion, which will prevent unwanted insulin spikes, reduce cravings, and keep you full for longer.
Studies (1) show that a whopping 95% of Americans are not even close to the recommended daily fiber intake.
A good rule of thumb is to consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories per day. With a minimum of 25 g and a maximum of 75 g per day.
High fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grains.
This is why I often recommend people to follow the 80/20 rule for weight loss.
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3. Not Eating Enough Protein
Another reason you might always be hungry is not eating enough protein.
Of all the nutrients, protein is the most satiating one.
Not only is protein digested slowly, which will help you stay full for longer. But it also has a high thermic effect, this means that your body burns more calories by trying to digest and process it.
This is why people looking to boost their metabolism often increase their protein intake.
So if you’re always hungry, consider eating at least 25 grams of protein at each meal.
If you want to be more accurate, aim to get between 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
The heavier you are, the closer to the smaller number you should be.
For example, a 150 lb person should eat between 105-150 g of protein per day.
To find an even more precise number for you, you can explore my article on how to calculate your macros and TDEE.
4. Not Sleeping Enough
When we think hunger, many of us focus on food, however, there are other things, such as sleep, that can affect us.
Proper sleep plays an important role in regulating hormones, which may ultimately help you feel relaxed and reduce hunger.
The recommended amount of sleep for adults is between 7-8 hours each day. (4)
Here’s a list of a few great night-time habits for weight loss.
5. Eating While Distracted
Another one of the reasons you’re always hungry could be eating while distracted.
We live in an era where everything demands our attention; we are busy working, keeping up with the news, watching the kids, cooking, you name it.
This study (5) showed that people who were distracted while eating felt the need to eat everything on their plate as compared to those who weren’t distracted.
Those who weren’t distracted felt full before finishing all of the food.
So when you eat, focus on just eating, set aside a few minutes to enjoy your meal and practice mindful eating.
Here are a few horrible habits preventing you from losing weight.
Are there any other reasons you’re always hungry? Share them in the comments section below!
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