Why You Always Feel Hungry...The Food Reasons
Last week, in a companion article, we took a look at the non-food reasons why you may be feeling hungry. But, that's not the whole story. Not by a long shot.
Here we're going to take a look at the food reasons.
Sure, you might have a fast metabolism (or there may be a medical reason) but, before you enlist your fast metabolism as the reason you're constantly eating, let's take a look at some other possibilities.
But first, how does hunger "work"?
When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin. That's a hormone which sends a message to your brain saying 'feed me!' And when it's been fed enough, another hormone called leptin sends the 'full now' message to your brain. But of course, it's not as simple as that. Other factors can interfere with the normal hunger mechanism and we're looking at those right now.
When you skip meals, the hunger hormone ghrelin starts to shout "I'm empty down here, feed me!" The louder it shouts, the more likely you are to binge.
NOT ENOUGH FAT
Contrary to what a lot of "experts" have been telling us for decades (until recently anyway), fat is good for us. Unsaturated fat, that is. It generates the contented feeling of fullness which means we won't be craving for something else to eat because we're satisfied. Healthy oils, nuts, seeds, avocados - they're all good. And they're heart healthy. Another reason to avoid so-called fat free and low fat foods (unless they come that way naturally) is that they are typically loaded with sugar, salt, additives galore and other health problems.
NOT ENOUGH FIBER
Most people get about half the recommended amount of daily fiber in their diets. That's about 25g for women and 38g for men. Fiber can be found in veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. I'm a big fan of veggies as they're a great source of both fiber and water. The good thing about both of these is that they provide fullness. With enough fiber and water, you won't feel hungry. It's why I try to eat a large salad each day for lunch.
NOT ENOUGH NUTRIENTS
One problem with focusing on calories is that calories don't satisfy your hunger, nutrients do. When your body is hungry it is craving nutrition, not calories. Nutrients like fiber, healthy fats and quality protein. Processed foods contain little nutrition which is why you can still feel hungry or have cravings after eating them.
NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN
Protein stays in your stomach longer. This is exactly what you want to stave off hunger.
TOO MANY SMOOTHIES
Solid food lasts longer in your stomach than the same ingredients in liquid form.
TOO MANY STARCHY CARBS (AND TOO MUCH SUGAR)
White foods such as white bread, white potatoes, white pasta and white flour in sweets cause your ghrelin levels to shoot up. Those refined carbohydrates are quickly converted into sugars... and your body will respond to all those sugars by triggering a shot of insulin. Its job is to get your sugar levels back down to normal. Then, once the sugars are gone, you're hungry again. You will avoid that cycle by eating unrefined carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes) with a serving of protein (organic chicken, wild caught fish) and some non-starchy vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens.
TOO MUCH FRUIT
Fruit contains natural sugars and is a healthy choice given its vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Too much fruit can elevate your blood sugar levels, causing an insulin spike. For example, drinking an all fruit smoothie or eating too much fruit alone. It's best to combine fruit with protein and healthy fat. Enjoy an apple with some nut butter and add avocado, nut butter, or MCT oil and protein powder to your fruit smoothies. This will keep you feeling fuller longer. It's best not to have more than 1-1 1/2 cups of fruit in a smoothie.
Now you know the main reasons why you're hungry soon after eating — and you also know how to manage the "always-hungries" into the pleasant land of Feeling Satisfied after you eat.
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.