The common obstacle that most people who are trying to lose weight often encounter is the constant feeling of hunger and the need to snack every few hours. You just feel hungry within minutes of having a full meal, and that’s unacceptable right, particularly when you are trying to lose weight. Even with intense workout, you might be unable to shed any weight because you are snacking most of the times and eating out of the fridge because of the way your tummy feels famished. You might feel gluttonous and the inner gannet in you would find it difficult to control these bouts of hunger, but blame it on the hunger hormone called “ghrelin” that your body releases. But there are more reasons why you are feeling hungry all through the day. In this post, we list out 15 reasons why you are hungry all the time.
Ghrelin – the Hunger Hormone:
Ghrelin is also called the hunger hormone because it triggers appetite and when someone says, they have a “huge appetite,” they have high levels of ghrelin. This hormone is secreted by the stomach, brain, and pancreas. When you have high ghrelin levels, you feel constantly hungry, unable to feel full even after having a large meal. There are many factors that cause unusual rise in this “hunger hormone,” so let’s find out what triggers its production.
Functions of Ghrelin Hormone:
- It triggers appetite.
- It counter-affects leptin (fullness hormone).
- Aids in fat storage.
- Controls the release of insulin.
What Triggers the Release of Ghrelin (hunger hormone):
1. When you are in a fasting state – Usually, when you take lesser calories than the body burns leads to production of this hormone. Therefore, women should consume at least 1200 calories per day and men should take 1500 calories per day.
2. Refined sugar, particularly food stuff with fructose can trigger the production of ghrelin.
3. Sleep deprivation or disturbed sleep pattern creates an imbalance in the production and release of major hormones in the body, including ghrelin.
16 Reasons Why you Are Hungry All the Time:
1. You snacked on high-carb breakfast?
A breakfast rich in refined carbs can trigger the production of ghrelin. In fact, certain studies have found out that a carbohydrate-free diet causes a daylong decrease in ghrelin. So, start your day with a protein-rich breakfast.
2. You ate sugary delights at breakfast: If you started your day with a packaged cereal high in sodium and sugar content, that can too shoot up ghrelin and leave you feeling hungry through the day.
3. Your daily diet is low in protein: In order to lose weight fast, you need to consume more protein and less of carbohydrates and fats. This way, you boost satiety hormones and keep the hunger hormones in check, which in turn means that you will be less likely to binge and eat calories. It is believed that what you eat is what you are. If you notice women who are in good shape, we bet they are on a healthy diet with high protein value in it. So, let’s have a look at how protein helps with weight loss.
4. Your daily diet is low in fiber: Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet because it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, clears constipation, regulate blood sugar levels, and also to control appetite. Fiber helps to reduce appetite, reduces belly fat, and thus helps with weight loss. Here’s a list of 32 Fiber-Rich Food that you can include in your diet.
5. You are just thirsty, not really hungry: Just as we have mentioned many times previously, most of the times we are just thirsty and not really hungry, so keep yourself hydrated through the day. Also, drink one glass of water at least 15 minutes before each meal so that the water will fill your stomach and you would take in only the necessary amount of food.
6. You are emotionally dependent on food/you indulge in stress eating: Stress increases cortisol levels and thus starts the process of stress eating because when you eat high-fat and refined food, your brain rewards you by releasing “feel-good chemicals” such as endorphins and dopamine. Such feel-good chemicals make us happy and elevate our mood. Such food items also cause sharp insulin spikes which give us instant energy but insulin is also a fat-storing hormone and would increase creation of new fat cells. Emotional eating is a situation where one eats to feel good and pleasant, to cope up with trauma, to relieve stress, rather than to satisfy hunger. The food that emotional eaters choose are usually high-fat, high sugar, calorie-rich food full of transfat and other toxic ingredients, extremely unhealthy for the human body.
7. You sleep for less than 7 hours ever night: When you have disturbed sleep at night or have slept less for 7 hours, you would have noticed that you woke up extremely hungry and are craving for high-fat and sugary foods. That’s because less sleep triggers the production of hunger hormone “ghrelin” which in fact raises the appetite. Get your 7 hours of sleep and you will wake up fresh without the appetite of a giant.
8. There’s hardly any healthy fat in your diet: Food such as avocado and coconut which are rich in monosaturated fat content help to suppress appetite and that’s why you need a good dose of them.
9. You do not indulge in mindful eating: Chewing slowly is a part of mindful eating because it recommends enjoying each bite of food and being aware of the quality and quantity of food that you are consuming. Avoid transfat, high sugar, high calorie food and include lots of vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
10. There are a lot of natural diuretics in your daily diet: Coffee, green tea – nothing wrong with them; however, when you go over three cups, they cause dehydration, and we all know how dehydration can make you hungry.
11. There is an underlying medical condition: Medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders can prevent you from feeling full and there’s a constant need to chew on something.
12. Diet Soda is Making you Hungry: Those who sip on diet soda thinking it’s healthy and low in calories are not aware yet that they can gain considerable amount of weight just by drinking it and that’s because the artificial sugar content can signal our brain to expect calories to be used as energy and when there are no actual calories, the body produces the hunger hormone “ghrelin” along with increasing your cravings for sugary things. So, dump that can of diet soda.
13. Crash Dieting: As we have mentioned earlier, when you take lesser calories, the levels of ghrelin hormone go up. Women should ideally consume at least 1200 calories per day and men should take 1500 calories per day. In fact, a severe shortage of calories can actually leave you feeling hungry all the tie.
14. You are simply bored: Yes, you can turn to a packet of chips just because you are bored and not really hungry. One should actually clearly distinguish the difference between hunger signals and boredom. Eating out of sheer boredom will lead to unavoidable weight gain and hamper your weight loss goals.
15. You are Leptin Resistant: Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain when the stomach is full. When there is an impairment in the production of leptin, the feeling of satiety after having a meal gets affected, and as a result, one is constantly hungry.
16. You have replaced sugar with artificial sweetener: Artificial sweeteners can affect the brain directly and stimulate the production of hunger hormone, go completely sugar free, or replace refined sugar with these 8 Best Healthy Replacements.