Have you ever eaten lunch and then felt hungry an hour later? We are all too familiar with the feeling of being hungry (or even worse – hangry) for no reason at all even after we’ve just eaten. In fact, the other day this happened to us after a meal out with friends, we came home and pigged out on leftovers… because life’s too short to let good food go to waste.
There are actually many different reasons as to why you may be feeling ravenous all the time. Let’s figure out why!
1. You have a fast metabolism
The faster your metabolism is, the more food/fuel you need. Some people are lucky enough to be born with a fast metabolism and others have to work hard on their bodies at the gym to have this.
People with fast metabolisms can burn anywhere between 100-400 extra calories a day.
2. You’re eating refined foods
Although refined foods taste yum (donuts, cookies, bread, etc.), they are all kinds of evil. It spikes your sugar levels rapidly, and then it drops shortly after. So this explains why you can’t just stop at one donut – the plunge leaves you wanting more!
There are so many healthier alternatives to these foods, which taste just as good, fill you up and leave you feeling less guilty.
3. You’re actually dehydrated
We often mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating when all we needed was a bit of water. Try drinking a glass of water when you’re “hungry” and wait 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry after that, eat a snack. This way you’ll know whether you were hungry or thirsty.
To stop this from happening, stay on top of your fluid intake throughout the day and avoid drinking a whole lot of water in one go. It may surprise you!
4. You may be stressed
When you get stressed, the level of adrenaline and cortisol increases, which means your body needs more energy to refuel and you’re left feeling hungry. Stress can also decrease the level of serotonin, which can also make you feel hungry when you’re not.
It’s important to take a few deep breaths during the day or even find some time to meditate.
5. You’re not getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep affects the levels of your hunger hormones: ghrelin (increase appetite) and leptin (decrease fullness). When it comes 3pm, you may be feeling exhausted so you need a bit of energy to get you through this slump and decide to go for something full of sugar.
Try to get in 8 hours of sleep each night and that way you won’t have to rely on too much caffeine or sugar.
6. You’re bored
When you have nothing to do or if you want to get away from your desk, raiding the pantry or fridge seems like a pretty good option. Studies show that when you’re bored, you are dissatisfied and restless. The next time you’re bored, find an activity to do with a friend like going for a walk (no, not to the fridge).
7. You’re not eating enough protein
Filling your body up with enough protein will help you feel fuller for longer. This is because protein takes more time to digest compared to other foods. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of protein is meat, but did you know there are plenty of other ways to get this? For all my fellow vegetarians, we get our proteins from foods like oats, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, peanuts and so much more!