Why Am I Always Hungry?


Feel like you’re constantly in search of a snack at work? How’s your sleep schedule? When you’re deprived of quality shut-eye, your levels of a hormone called leptin (which sends your brain signals of feeling full and satisfied) drop. A PLoS Medicine study found that this, in turn, increases your appetite and makes you crave comfort food. More bad news? A lack of sleep can cause you to burn fewer calories and experience an increase in another hormone, cortisol, which can make your body store fat.

What
to
Do

If you’re eating to simply keep yourself from falling asleep, take a nap. You’re better off resting your body for 15 to 20 minutes than stuffing unnecessary calories into your body.

According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, stress can have a funny effect on your feelings of hunger. It’s an interesting twist, she says, how our bodies trick us into feeling hungry when we’re merely stressed out. We have an innate trigger to “eat our feelings” when we’re feeling down or worried about work or family problems. What’s more, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found consuming sugary beverages actually helps combat the onset of stress.

What
to
Do

You can’t always control what’s stressing you out. But you can control what you put in your mouth. When you get a craving, consider how you’re feeling and if this is a stress response … you might just need a coffee with a heavy spoonful of sugar.

You’re Not Eating Enough Protein or Fiber

Many people end up eating a lot of refined carbohydrates during the week. Maybe some sugary cereal in the morning, a few slices of pizza at lunch and some pretzels for a snack. The problem with this is that you’re constantly fueling yourself with nutritionally deficient, refined carbs. These burn quickly in your body, which spikes your blood sugar and then causes it to crash. When your glucose levels drop, you trigger your body’s hunger response.

What
to
Do

Choose foods that will fill you up and burn slowly to give you sustained energy. Complex carbs (grains like brown rice and quinoa), raw vegetables, fruits and a decent amount of protein (lean meats, dairy or eggs).





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