Your body has different cues for different needs. Hunger is one of them. It is a reflex of signaling your brain that you are starving and you need more food.Hunger presents in different ways but in many cases, most people may feel irritable, have difficulty concentrating, experience headaches, and the stomach may feel empty and growl.
Some individuals can go several hours in between meals before having feelings of hunger. For various reasons, you may be feeling hungry shortly after eating. Possible explanations can include excessive stress, eating a diet that is low in fats, protein, or fiber, as well as being dehydrated.This article explains some of the common possible reasons why you are always hungry.
1. Your Diet is Lacking Protein
Consumption of protein is associated with a perfectly controlled appetite. According to the studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, protein possesses hunger-reducing properties. This helps in reducing the number of calories you can take during the day. Protein works by increasing the production of a satiety hormone called peptide YY (PYY) to signal fullness and reduce the levels of hunger hormone called ghrelin.
Based on that reason, you may become hungry a few hours after eating because you are not consuming enough proteins.You can keep yourself satiated by including protein foods in every meal. Rich sources of protein include poultry, fish, meat, and eggs. Dairy products like yogurt also contain protein. Seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes also boast proteins.
2. You Are Sleep Deprived
This could be another reason you are always feeling hungry. Your health generally depends on the amount of sleep you get each night. Studies have shown, for proper functioning of the brain as well as the immune system, enough sleep is needed. It is also believed that getting enough sleep can help reduce the risk of developing certain chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease.
What’s more, your appetite is also controlled by the amount of sleep you get. Getting enough sleep helps regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin. One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that depriving yourself of sleep can lead to excess production of ghrelin, explaining why you are always hungry.
3. Consuming Lots of Refined Carbs
Eating too many refined carbs can also explain why you feel hungry shortly after eating. This is because they have been highly processed and their vitamins, minerals, and fiber removed.Refined carbs can be found in foods that contain or have been made with wheat flour. These include bread, pasta, candy, soda, and baked goods flavored with processed sugars.
Refined carbs lack the fiber that can delay their digestion and absorption. For that reason, they get broken down faster and absorbed into the bloodstream leaving you hungry. Refined carbs are also not good for your health especially for people suffering from diabetes. This is because they lead to a rapid increase in blood sugars and increased insulin.
4. You are Eating a Diet Low in Fat
Studies have shown that fats play a major role in extending your feelings of fullness. One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that the gastrointestinal transit time of fat is slow. This means that fat will take a considerably longer time in your stomach. Additionally, including fat in your meal may also result in the release of hormones that promote fullness.
To help yourself stay full for a longer time, you can try including foods high in fat and are nutritious at the same time. Some published studies have shown that including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help reduce your appetite.
MCTs can be sourced from coconut oil while omega-3 fatty acids can be found in tuna, sardines, salmon, and plant-based foods like flaxseeds and walnuts. Olive oil, avocado, fatty yogurt, and eggs are also good sources of fats.
5. You are Probably Dehydrated
Staying in a hydration state is an important factor in maintaining general health. You need to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Sufficient water in the tissues and cells has numerous health benefits including supporting the health of the brain and heart. It also helps increase exercise performance. Additionally, enough water helps in promoting skin health and the health of the digestive system.
Studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that watervery filling and can help reduce appetite, especially when consumed before meals.To keep yourself full and hydrated, it is important that you drink water whenever you feel thirsty. You can also eat vegetables and other foods that are loaded with water such as watermelon.
6. You are Not Taking Enough Fiber in Your Diet
Fiber can help prolong the feelings of fullness and lacking it in your diet can make you feel hungry more frequently. Published studies have shown that fiber delays the emptying of the stomach and they take longer to break down than other foods, especially high fiber foods.
Increasing the intake of fiber can help increase the release of the appetite-reducing hormone. It also leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids which have also been shown to prolong the feelings of fullness.Many foods contain fiber, for example sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, flaxseeds, oatmeal, and oranges.
7. Eating Under Distraction
Living a busy life may need you to eat while you are distracted because you want to save on time. However, this may have negative impacts on your health including increased appetite, excess calorie intake, and weight gain.
If you want to eat undistracted, try to switch off your television, mute or silence your phones, and practice mindfulness.
8. Excess Workouts
Working out and cardio have been associated with increased calorie burning. It also increases your appetite greatly. This is because they have an increased metabolism.
When you get hungry frequently, try taking a nutritious meal before and after a workout. Apart from keeping you full, it will also help reduce muscle damage.
Hunger is a rewarding response that your body uses to keep itself satisfied. But if you frequently get hungry shortly after meals you will need to analyze your diet and lifestyle. Try to increase fiber, fat, and protein intake and try eating in undistracted mode even if you are living a busy life.