Experts explain the causes of constant hunger
The feeling of hunger is a natural signal to a person about the body's need for food. Our body is always waiting for energy to arrive, which we get from food and which is necessary for the proper functioning of our organs. If our diet is properly balanced and meets all our nutrient needs, we can easily go several hours without eating and stick to our planned routine.
However, sometimes the feeling of hunger overtakes us after a short period of time or even accompanies us constantly. Doctors call this eating disorder "polyphagia". OBOZREVATEL analysed the available information and identified possible reasons for the constant desire to eat something.
Lack of protein in the diet
As you know, not all foods saturate our bodies equally. For example, protein and carbohydrate intake have different effects on appetite satisfaction. Protein is one of the three most important macronutrients we get from food. It provides the body with the necessary energy, reduces hunger and allows you to consume fewer calories.
If your diet is not adequately enriched with protein, you may not be able to keep up with long intervals between meals and may be prone to snacking. For example, a study showed that men who received 25% of their calories from protein for 12 weeks reported a 50% reduction in the desire to eat late at night.
Insufficient water intake
Much has been said about the body's vital need for sufficient fluids. Water is known to promote heart and brain health, as well as moisturise the skin and support the digestive system. In addition, according to scientists, it is quite nutritious and can reduce appetite if consumed before meals.
So, if you don't drink enough, you may feel hungry, which can be confused with thirst. So if you can't get enough, try increasing the amount of fluid you drink daily and adding foods that contain plenty of it, such as vegetables and fruit.
The need for fibre
Consuming foods high in fibre helps control hunger because they slow down stomach emptying, take longer to digest and keep you full.
Oatmeal, whole grains, flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, nuts and legumes are foods that should always be on the menu. Studies have shown that a high-fibre diet not only helps to reduce appetite, but also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Insufficient fat intake
Fat plays a key role in maintaining a feeling of fullness. This is because it takes longer to digest, so it stays in the stomach longer, and also leads to the release of hormones that promote satiety.
For example, the experiment showed that participants who ate a low-fat diet had a significantly increased craving for carbohydrates and high-sugar foods. This suggests that the consumption of healthy fats is necessary to satisfy hunger and ensure the body's proper functioning.
An active lifestyle contributes to health and longevity. However, if you are seriously involved in sports, your metabolism speeds up and you burn a lot of calories, and you need more energy for new achievements. Therefore, you may feel very hungry.
To solve the problem, make sure you balance your diet to include the right amount of protein, fibre and healthy fats, and reconsider the duration and intensity of your workouts.
Large amounts of refined foods
Refined foods are usually heavily processed to preserve flavour and extend shelf life and are devoid of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It's hard to avoid them completely, but if your diet is full of them, you may feel hungry all the time.
This is because processed foods are digested quickly and do not keep you feeling full. At the same time, doctors explain that refined foods can cause blood sugar spikes. If its level is too high, insulin is released and quickly removes sugar, signalling that the body needs food again. So a diet consisting only of processed foods does not meet the need for energy and causes hunger.
Healthy sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and the body's defences. Adequate rest produces leptin, a hormone that promotes a feeling of satiety, and controls the level of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.
An experiment showed that participants who had only one night's sleep reported significant hunger and chose a 14% larger portion of food than those who had 8 hours of sleep.
In addition to being harmful to the body, alcohol can also contribute to overeating by stimulating appetite. Drinking alcohol increases hunger and impairs the functioning of the part of the brain that is responsible for self-control.
Thus, scientists say that those who drink alcohol eat 10% more calories during the day. They also tend to eat salty and fatty foods.
Surprisingly enough, it's not just what you eat that matters to satisfy your hunger, but also how you do it. If you eat on the run or while watching TV, you are distracted and do not control the quality and quantity of what you eat.
Some studies show that people who eat in silence and avoid external influences get full faster than those who are distracted while eating.
The speed at which you eat can also affect your hunger. Some studies show that people who eat fast have a greater appetite and are more likely to overeat than those who eat slowly.
Chronic stress can increase appetite. This is due to increased levels of cortisol, which can cause hunger and cravings for food and a tendency to eat sweets.
For example, in one study of 350 girls, it was found that participants who were stressed were more likely to overeat and tend to consume large quantities of foods low in nutrients, such as chips or cookies. If you are constantly hungry, pay attention to your emotional state and try to achieve harmony and calmness.
Certain diseases and medications
Not everyone knows that constant hunger can signal the development of diseases. For example, it is one of the symptoms of diabetes mellitus, but the diagnosis is possible only after other clinical examinations.
Hyperthyroidism can also be accompanied by increased hunger. This is due to the excessive production of thyroid hormones that cause appetite.
At the same time, some medications can cause an increased craving for food. These may include anti-allergic medications, antidepressants, and some diabetes medications. If you have gained weight after taking a certain course of medication, it may be the reason for your constant hunger. Talk to your doctor about adjusting the prescribed treatment.
As you can see, the natural need for food is influenced by numerous factors. If you are eating and not getting enough, you should check your body condition and reconsider your lifestyle. A balanced diet, moderate exercise, and harmony with yourself and the world will not only satisfy hunger, but also give you a long and healthy life.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL reported on clinical trials of an anti-obesity drug. Scientists noted that semaglutide has shown to be highly effective in the fight against obesity.