If you’re someone who struggles with their appetite, you’re not alone. In today’s video, we do some detective work to pinpoint the reason you may be hungry and what you can do about it.
Five reasons you’re always hungry
1. You’re not eating enough
This one may seem obvious, but the possibility of not enough is often overlooked.
What puts you at risk of not eating enough? If you are skipping meals, forgetting to eat, dieting, or exercising and not meeting your body’s energy needs by providing calories through food, you can expect physical hunger to kick in.
Action step: Time a meal or snack every 3-4 hours from the moment you wake up and take note of how this affects your appetite into the evening.
2. You’re missing protein and fat
Paying attention to when you’re feeling hungry can give us clues into what’s going on. If hunger strikes often throughout the day or soon after you’ve finished a meal, you may not be getting enough protein or healthy fats in your plate. The reasoning here is that protein and fat are the macronutrients involved in satiety through hormones they trigger in the gut. They give you staying power by keeping you satisfied between meals and keeping hunger at bay.
Action step: Include a high food source of protein some healthy fats with all your meals and snacks.
3. You need more volume in your plate
If you have trouble satisfying your hunger during the meal, then the problem isn’t satiety but satiation.
Now there’s a whole orchestra of reactions involved in letting us know when it’s time to put down our forks, including hormones and stretch receptors in the stomach that signal to the brain the meal is coming to an end. For this reason, building volume into our meals through high-fibre and high-water foods such as vegetables are very helpful in achieving this feeling of satiation. Additionally, when your meal is high in voluminous vegetables, you are also forced to slow down, which, if you’re a fast eater, may be another reason you’re having trouble feeling satisfied.
Action step: Focus on upping your vegetable game. Build about 1-2 fists into every meal and chew your food slowly and properly.
4. You’re lacking sleep
If you’ve checked all the boxes above and are eating regular meals that include protein, healthy fats, vegetables and still find your self ravenous during the day, then sleep, or lack thereof may be the culprit. One of the reasons sleep is correlated with weight is that it keeps two key hunger hormones in check. Leptin, the “I’m full” hormone in charge of increasing energy expenditure (calorie-burning) and ghrelin, the “I’m hungry” hormone, in charge of stimulating appetite. When you’re running on low sleep, less than 8 hours quality sleep per night, leptin levels go down and ghrelin shoots up, setting you up for a bigger appetite and potential weight gain in the long run. Researchers think this is your body’s way of ensuring you consume enough calories for the extra hours of wakefulness.
Action step: Try to incorporate our tips for better sleep.
5. You’re not truly hungry.
Feeling full is quite different from using food to feel fulfilled. That’s because physical hunger and the desire to eat are two completely seperate things that are goverened by completely different factors. Today, we talked about ways to get your physical hugner in check, but if you find yourself already implementing all of these elements and still struggling to get a hold on your appetite, then you may want to investigate what kind of hunger you’re truly feeling. Are you eating out of habit? Is it emotional?
I want to hear from you
I hope this post was helpful and you implement the advice in your life immediately. To encourage you to do just that, share in the comments section below which tip resonates with you the most and the action step you will take.