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10 Reasons Why You Are Always Hungry

Last Updated on: June 16, 2022

We all have felt the rumble in our stomachs when we feel hungry during the day. Our body has an effective system to tell us when the stomach is empty and wants more food.

There are daily amounts of calories everyone needs to consume in order to have energy, maintain body weight, and stay healthy. The 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that females consume between 1600 and 2400 calories per day and men consume between 2000 to 3000 calories. (1)

Even when people are eating the correct number of calories according to their sex, it is common for people to experience hunger throughout the day. 

There are various reasons why a person experiences hunger more often than they believe they should. Here we have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons why people may feel hungry. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Dehydration. 

The body needs water to run almost all of the body systems. Water is necessary to regulate body temperature, keep eyes and mouth moist, protect organs, carry nutrients throughout the body, lubricate joints, flush out waste, and dissolve minerals and nutrients so the body can absorb them properly. Professionals recommend that women take in 11.5 cups of water a day and men 15.5 cups. (7) Consistent water drinking during the day fills the stomach and causes you to feel full. Appetite will decrease if the proper amounts are consumed every day. 

Not enough protein. 

Foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs, and nuts are common dietary staples. Protein contains compounds which reduce feelings of hunger in the body. (8) Protein will cause a person to feel full in the short term but will also make people feel full over 24 hours. Eating a protein rich meal, especially in the morning will keep the appetite down and will make it easier to consume fewer amounts of food during the day. 

Not enough fiber. 

Foods which contain high levels of fiber such as beans, oats, whole grains, barley, and chickpeas, slow the rate in which your stomach releases food. Fiber takes longer to digest and will make the stomach feel fuller for longer periods of time. (9)

Exercising without increasing caloric intake. 

Those who exercise regularly more often burn calories as their body uses increased levels of energy. Their metabolisms increase and use more of the calories than they would have had they not been in a state of increased activity. People naturally need to consume more calories to give their body energy. If a person feels hungry all the time, it is possible they are not eating enough to balance the effects of their exercise and should consume more calories to make up for the deficit.

You are drinking too much alcohol. 

Alcohol has been known to inhibit the hormones which reduce appetite. Drinking alcohol can alter the blood sugar balance in the body. The body uses its stores of glycogen to metabolize alcohol and consequently needs to take in more energy and sugars in the form of food. Drinking less will help you feel less hungry. (10)

You are stressed or distracted.

When you eat while distracted, you do not realize how much you are eating and feel hungrier because you are not paying attention to how much enters your body. Stress causes increased levels of cortisol, a hormone which causes cravings and makes you want to eat more. Eating while distracted or increased levels of stress will cause you to want more than you should.

You are eating too quickly. 

Those who eat slowly feel full faster and that feeling lasts for longer periods of time. Those who eat fast statistically have higher appetites and will overeat at meals. Take your time eating and chewing and then your feelings of hunger will decrease steadily. 

You are not sleeping enough. 

Sleeping is a main factor in appetite control. Sleep regulates ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates appetite, and makes you feel fuller during the day. If you are not sleeping enough, your body will burn more calories to stay awake and will want you to replenish them. (11)

You have an underlying medical issue. 

Various medical conditions will cause an increase in appetite. Diabetes, an overactive thyroid, or low blood sugar can make people feel hungry all day long. Meeting with a doctor can help you determine if a medical issue has caused your increased appetite. Medications prescribed by a professional can alleviate these feelings of hunger and help stabilize your appetite.

You are experiencing side effects of medications. 

Many medications have side effects which cause you to feel hungrier. Carefully read the labels of your medications and consult with your doctor to see if they are altering your desires for food.

Remember This

If you are experiencing constant feelings of hunger and the desire to look in the fridge again for another snack, you might have problems with your diet or eating habits. 

Make changes in your lifestyle to find out what is the underlying issue which has caused your sense of increased hunger all day.

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