5 Reasons You Are Always Hungry

Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? We eat more food than we need and we are all guilty of doing it: mindless munching on a bag of pretzels or treating ourselves to a second helping when the first was plenty. Some of this can be blamed on habits, while others have more to do with body’s hunger signals. If you are stressed out, sleep deprived or a regular at the bar, your lifestyle could be driving you to over eat.

You Don’t Catch Your Z’s

Skimping on sleep lowers levels of the fullness hormone leptin while increasing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, a combination that revs up your appetite, according to researchers. Lack of rest also stimulates areas of the brain that associate food with pleasure. People ate 221 more calories from snack foods the day after getting 5.5 hours of sleep compared to when they snoozed for 8.5 hours, according to a study. At that rate, you could pack on almost a pound after two weeks of sleep deprivation.

You’re taking medication that causes hunger as a side effect

If you felt ravenous the last time you were taking an antibiotic to tame an allergic reaction, joint inflammation, acne or a bad cold, the medicine may be to blame. Medication that contains mild steroids, like prednisone, a corticosteroid, ramp up hunger big time. If you’ve already eaten a normal-size meal, ignore the drug-inflated hunger.Instead, try an oral fix like chewing gum, sipping warm coffee or brushing your teeth. If you’re on long-term steroid therapy, consult a Registered Dietitian to devise an eating plan that will help you feel more satisfied throughout the treatment.

You’re Addicted to Diet Soda

The can says “diet,” but your favorite zero-calorie beverage may actually help you pack on pounds. Blame sugar substitutes which mess with the brain’s ability to control how much you need to eat. The brain uses a learned relationship between sweetened foods or beverages and the calories that they provide to help regulate food intake. Routinely drinking diet soda throws off the brain’s sweet sensors, as you’re consuming something sweet, but your body’s not getting the calories it expects. Once confused, the brain stops associating sweets with having calories and your control around sweet-tasting foods starts to weaken.

You Skip Breakfast

Researchers suggest that forgoing meals slows down your metabolism, makes you hungry, switches your body into fat-storage mode, and ups the odds that you’ll overdo it at your next meal. If you’re feeling full-blown hunger before noon, there’s a chance you’re not eating enough in the morning. So, shoot for a minimum of 250 calories and aim to get a serving of protein in such as eggs, nut butters, milk, yogurt or seeds like chia are great options, these will help you stay fuller longer. Breakfast does not need to be a big production, just use some simple strategies and you will be on your way to feeling fab through food.

You’re thirsty or dehydrated

The symptoms of dehydration (sleepiness, low energy) closely mimic those of being overly hungry, which may lead you to think you need food to increase your energy level. When you’re thirsty, your mouth becomes dry, a symptom that eating will temporarily relieve. I suggest drinking a tall glass of water or cup of herbal tea before eating and waiting for your body’s hunger signals to adjust (about 10 minutes). Doing so could save hundreds of calories.