Constant feelings of hunger can throw you off your weight loss plan. It seems like you never feel full enough to stop thinking of food or eating.
This can be frustrating, especially if you want to achieve a certain weight goal. The first step to managing your weight control is to understand the reasons for your constant hunger and what you can do to beat it.
The most common and the most important of the reasons are these
Fast metabolism in some people burns more calories in a small amount of time. More that 30% of the general population have fast metabolism which allows them to burn up to 400 more calories per day than most people do.
Eating a lot of processed or refined foods like cookies, white bread, or salad dressings that cause your blood sugar levels to increase within short periods of time, may be making you more hungry.
Hormonal changes associated with menstrual periods, overactive thyroid, and diabetes are common causes of constant hunger.
By eating while watching television, you are more likely to eat processed snack foods, eat high calorie meals, and indulge in soft drinks and tend to be overweight.
Many people turn to food as a coping mechanism, eating as a way to deal with stressful or negative emotions.
Once touted as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, diet soda has a negative impact on appetite and overall health. Sugar substitutes can alter the body’s ability to feel full and trigger feelings of hunger.
Often, what people perceive as hunger is actually thirst. This is especially true when a person is chronically dehydrated.
Poor sleep can make you feel hungrier because of the effects of two hormones. First, it increases your ghrelin levels which stimulate your appetite. Second, it reduces your leptin levels which cause you to feel less full.
A glass of wine or a cocktail drink before dinner stimulates hunger and increases your appetite even when you have a full stomach.
One major disadvantage of skipping meals to lose weight is that it makes you hungrier. When your stomach is empty for a long time, your body produces more of the ghrelin hormone which prompts you to eat and binge on more food.
Some drugs also can make you feel hungry all the time. These include antidepressants like Paxil and Zoloft; and corticosteroids like prednisone.
Intestinal parasites like worms are common and these can rob you of the nutrients from the food you eat. Parasites like tapeworms can live in your intestines without you knowing it until symptoms get worse. Sometimes the only symptom is constant hunger with failure to gain weight.
Every woman knows that being pregnant can cause an increase in appetite. There’s a baby who is depending on you for nourishment. Therefore, this is a good time to eat more, although women must eat nutrient-dense foods and avoid junk foods that can cause unhealthy weight gain.
Sometimes, constant hunger may be a symptom of an eating disorder like bulimia which involves binge eating or uncontrolled overeating. A person who has bulimia tends to eat larger amounts of food within a short amount of time (less than two hours). This is usually followed by self-induced vomiting or purging.
Last, but never the least, quickly eating a meal on the run or between meetings may be a time saver, but it can backfire in the long run. When you eat quickly, the hormone your stomach sends to let your body know that you’re full doesn’t have time to trigger, preventing you from ever feeling full. Studies have proven that individuals who take longer to chew their food stay fuller longer.
Thus, your hunger depends on your body, your habits, and your lifestyle. So, know these and know how to solve this simple but serious issue of yours.