There are many different biological signals that your body sends out depending on what you need or what you’re feeling at the moment. If you’re yawning, then you might need to get some sleep, and you sneeze when something ticklish enters your nose or throat. Feeling an empty stomach, or even some growling? That’s probably hunger.
But while hunger is universally seen as a sign to get more food, there might be other issues going on with your body that could be triggering that annoying hungry feeling. From boredom to a lack of sleep, your body might use the desire to eat as a general feeling when there’s something else going on.
We’ll show you the most common reasons why you’re always hungry, as well as how to fix those issues so you can have a healthy eating schedule without feeling uneasy between each meal.
You’re not eating enough
This might sound like the most obvious one, but a lot of people aren’t aware that they’re eating less than they should be. Maybe because they’re used to eating the same portions every day, so they think that should be enough, or they’re following a diet that doesn’t really adjust to their specific body needs.
Whatever the reason, not eating enough can be the main cause of that constant hungry feeling that you get throughout the day. This is particularly important if you’re an active person because food is the main energy source for your body, and you need that energy to move around.
How to fix it: Pay more attention to the size of your meals, and try talking to a nutritionist if you’re not sure how much you should be eating. Are you maybe leaving your plate emptier than it should be on purpose? If your goal is to lose weight, eating less isn’t the answer. Instead, you should be aiming to eat healthier, which takes us to the next point…
Your diet is lacking important nutrients
If you feel like you’re eating enough but you’re still hungry most of the time, then maybe the issue isn’t with the quantity but with the quality.
A balanced diet consists of a mix of different nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy, such as macronutrients (protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). While it can be difficult to make sure that you’re eating healthy quantities of each of these in your diet, making the effort to just include the three macronutrients will take care of the rest of the nutrients most of the time.
Foods high in protein and fiber, in particular, are great because those two nutrients help you feel satiated after eating, keeping your hunger in check for a while. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients in your diet, maybe because you eat fast food too often or the products that you buy are just refined carbs and empty-calorie foods, then constant hunger is definitely going to be part of your life.
How to fix it: Start tracking your macros! With the help of the Fit With Iulia Macro Calculator, you can find out how much of each macro you should be eating so that you can plan your nutrient-rich meals more efficiently. Just answer a few questions about you, such as your height, weight, activity level, and fitness goal, and our macro calculator will do the math for you.
Not everything’s about the food that you eat and the nutrients that they contain – water also plays an important role in your hunger levels.
You probably already know how essential water is for your body. Up to 60% of it is water, being everywhere from your bloodstream to your muscles and all your different organs. And while it’s incredibly important for your overall health, it also plays a factor in your hunger levels because sometimes what you feel isn’t actual hunger, your body is just dehydrated and craving water!
How to fix it: Drinking water throughout the day will help you stay satiated and curb that hungry feeling that you might get in between meals. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, whether you’re moving through the house, in the car, or at work. And if you find it hard to drink water by itself because it lacks flavor, add some! You can add a few drops of lemon juice or some diced strawberry to make it more enjoyable.
You burn more calories than you consume
As we mentioned before, food is the main energy source for your body. Without enough food, there’s not enough energy, so if you’re an active person that moves around a lot… Hunger will strike.
If you’re on a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn), increased hunger might be a problem for you at times. Additionally, highly active people tend to have a faster metabolism, burning through calories more quickly. It doesn’t matter if you’re burning calories because you’re working out or you’re just a very busy person that moves around a lot, you still need to replenish that energy in order to avoid feeling hungry or even fatigued.
How to fix it: Have a generally active lifestyle? Consider finding out how many calories you usually burn per day, and try to adjust your diet so that you can get the energy that you need. Aside from showing you how much of each macro should be in your diet, the Fit With Iulia Macro Calculator can also tell you how many calories you need to stay energized!
You’re emotional, not hungry
Emotional eating can be a huge problem because it not only messes up your eating schedule but can also lead to unwanted weight gain.
Your emotions play a huge role in how you feel physically, so they may be the ones making you feel hungry at times. Feelings such as sadness and stress can make you want to eat in order to get away from those feelings and place your focus on something else. Even boredom on a slow day can make you feel hungry when all you really need is a distraction!
How to fix it: When you’re feeling hungry, try first to determine what is causing that hunger. Are you bored? Or did something happen in your life that’s making you feel down? Assess your emotions first and try to find a healthy distraction, such as going for a walk or finishing your chores for the day.
You’re eating too quickly
The practice of eating slowly and paying attention to your food is called mindful eating, and it can help you not only curb your hunger for longer but also to eat the adequate amounts for your body, helping you avoid an overeating spiral.
When you’re distracted while eating, maybe because you’re talking to someone or you’re watching TV, you might eat quicker than usual. While you’re eating, your stomach sends signals to your brain to let it know when you’re full, but this doesn’t happen immediately. It needs a little bit of time to send that info, and if you’re eating too quickly, your brain won’t catch up and you might be left hungry after.
How to fix it: Practice mindful eating! Turn off your TV, put your phone down, and really pay attention to the textures and flavors on your plate. Whenever you take a bite, put your fork or spoon down and chew thoroughly. Making these little changes can go a long way!
You’re not getting enough sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, not only you’ll feel tired and grumpy the next day, but you’ll likely feel hungrier than usual too.
During sleep, your body goes through many different processes. It’s the time for repair and regulation, and this includes bringing your hormones to a normal level. One of those hormones is ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone because it increases your appetite. The more sleep you lose, the higher your ghrelin levels will be, which in turn makes you feel hungrier throughout the day.
How to fix it: Try your best to have a healthy sleeping schedule. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is essential to keep your body in tip-top shape, so set a regular bedtime, turn everything off, and avoid going on your phone right before you go to sleep!
Hunger can be incredibly uncomfortable, especially when it becomes a constant feeling in your day-to-day life, but keeping an eye on your diet and lifestyle can help you change that so that you’re only hungry when you actually need to eat!
Need some help planning meals that are filling and nutrient-rich?
The Fit With Iulia app has everything that you need and more!
The app offers a Kitchen feature that’s perfect for meal-planning, so you can improve your current plan or start from scratch and create a completely new meal plan for your strength training or weight loss goals. You can search through an expansive food library by macros, how healthy they are, if they’re vegan or vegetarian, and even if they’re lactose or gluten-free. Try the Fit With Iulia app and start your healthy eating journey today!