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  • Writer's pictureAmy Salman

Why You Always Feel Hungry

There are both food and non-food reasons for why you may be feeling hungry all the time. In my practice, I address both with my clients.

Let's take a look at some non-food related factors to consider when addressing why you may be feeling hungry.

ALCOHOL: Alcohol dehydrates you, so your body tricks you into thinking you need food when in fact you need water. Alcohol also increases the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

BOREDOM: When you're bored, this can lead to boredom eating. According to the Journal of Health Psychology, boredom eaters also make the wrong food choices... eating too much and eating the wrong things. It's best to find non-food ways to deal with that bored feeling.

CHEWING GUM: The action of chewing produces saliva, and when that saliva reaches your stomach it starts to expect food to follow. If food doesn't come, the "I'm hungry" message gets sent to your brain.

DEHYDRATION: Your body needs water to extract the nutrients out of the food you eat. So, when you don't drink enough water, your body is going to think it's nutrient deprived - and you'll hanker for more food.

DIET DRINKS: Despite the name, the artificial sweeteners used in "diet" soda can make your sugar cravings stronger. Not what you need when you're trying to avoid hunger pangs!

EATING TOO FAST: By slowing down and chewing more, you give your stomach time to register when it's full and then convey that to your brain. This process takes 15-20 minutes. Eat slower, eat less.

LARGE PLATES: The same sized meal on a small plate will look bigger. It's a little psych trick you can use to help yourself.

MEDICATIONS: Antidepressants and corticosteroids, to name two drug classes are known to affect your appetite.

PICTURES OF FOOD & FOOD ADS: Kind of obvious, isn't it? But, they've also reported on this in the journal Obesity and yes, watching food ads and flipping through Instagram or Facebook for those glorious food pictures does trigger hunger feelings.

SITTING TOO LONG: Surprisingly, sitting all day can make you hungrier than if you get up and move about. A short walk every half hour or so will help. It delivers two benefits, according to Diabetes Care. It minimizes the spikes in your body's blood sugar levels and it lowers insulin levels after you eat. Sounds like another good reason to stay active.

SLEEP DEPRIVED: The less sleep you have, the more your system generates ghrelin (the hunger hormone). But, that's not all. Short sleep will also mean you have less of the hunger-inhibiting leptin. It's a double whammy, so shortchanging yourself on sleep is not a good idea at all.

SNACKS IN PLAIN VIEW: If you're going to keep snacks out, be sure to replace any sugar-fat-salt snacks with healthy alternatives.

STRESS: One of the things about stress is that it tends to make us reach for high-calorie snacks, not real food that would nourish us.

So there we have it... 13 reasons to explore and plenty of action points to add to your healthier eating game plan.

To your health & happiness,



Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability of its contents or any omissions.

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