Our lives could be much easier if there was a button to silence the feeling of hunger at times and make us stop thinking about food. Until this button is invented, it’s worth remembering that hunger, just like pain, feels unpleasant, but we need these physical signals to survive. So why do some people feel hungry so often, even when they’re consuming much more than required for their daily health needs? Here are some possible ways to explain it:
Common and non-worrying reasons
1. Your sleep was disturbed.
When we don’t sleep enough, it affects us in many ways we aren’t aware of. A common problem is disrupted hormone activity. Studies show that when we don’t sleep enough, it causes changes in the activity of the hormone ghrelin, the "hunger hormone.” This mechanism, we emphasize, also works the other way around, as when you don’t eat properly, you may suffer from poor quality sleep.
2. Your menu needs a refresh
Some ingredients have a greater impact on the hunger and satiety mechanism. People who don’t eat enough protein, fat and dietary fiber may feel hungrier throughout the day. Proteins help regulate ghrelin levels, while fats help produce more leptin that provides a feeling of satiety. Fiber also prolongs feeling full and also has a positive effect on the rate of good bacteria in the gut.
3. Your body worked hard today
Physical training, with an emphasis on cardiological activity, increases calorie burning, which requires eating more to get added calories in the hours and days that follow. Studies show that intense training, such as high-intensity interval training (hiit), causes the body to continue to burn fat even at rest, so you feel hungrier than usual for a longer time.
But effort isn’t always physical. When your brain works hard, for example if you feel a lot of stress and anxiety, it may intensify hunger and cravings of fatty and harmful foods.
1. You suffer from addiction.
When we consume alcohol or drugs, it adversely affects the cerebral cortex, the area responsible for decision making, self-control and rational thinking. People who use these substances frequently have a hard time controlling themselves and can snack uncontrollably. In addition, alcohol and drugs disrupt the activity of the hunger and satiety hormones we mentioned earlier, leptin and ghrelin.
2. You have a medical condition that requires diagnosis.
Some diseases can cause an increased feeling of hunger. The best known are diabetes or intestinal infection. In diabetes, along with increased hunger, people will usually feel more thirsty than usual. Hyperthyroidism can also cause an increased feeling of hunger and will usually be accompanied by difficulty breathing, stress, irritability or increased fatigue. If you recognize even some of these symptoms, see your doctor for a professional diagnosis.
3. You have an eating disorder
Anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders can sometimes disrupt the hunger and satiety mechanism. In some cases, this disruption may persist even after recovering from the disorder. People who have eating disorders function in a state of denial, yet pay attention to warning signs that signal that problematic eating habits are seriously affecting your body. These signs include hair loss, skin problems, constipation, accelerated pulse, weakness and fatigue. If you recognize these signs, turn to professionals who can help you navigate your life to a more stable and balanced place.