4 Reasons You’re Always Hungry – And How To Beat Those Cravings

Reasons you're always hungry, beat cravings, nutritionist

4 Reasons You’re Always Hungry – And How To Beat Those Cravings

Are you always hungry? Do you find yourself constantly craving snacks?

Feeling hungry all the time can be a real obstacle to reaching your health and weight goals, especially at this time of year as it gets darker and colder. If you’re experiencing constant food cravings, keep an eye out for these sneaky saboteurs standing between you and your healthiest self.

If you find that you’re hungry all the time, you may want to consider seeking personalised advice from a nutritionist. Head to Consultations to see how I can help you start your journey to the healthiest version of yourself today!

Reasons you're always hungry, beat cravings, nutritionist

1. The Cause: You’re Not Eating Enough

Eating more won’t necessarily prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals. In fact, the very opposite may be the case. Our hunger hormone, ghrelin, is produced when the stomach is empty, to signal to the brain that it’s time to eat. Allowing hunger to get out of control may lead to overeating at the next meal, ordering more than we need in a restaurant, and late night binge-eating after a day of calorie restriction – and let’s be honest, we don’t binge on cucumber sticks and lettuce. These consequences are counterproductive for weight loss, and often stimulate a vicious cycle of binging and restricting.

The Solution:

Eat regular, balanced meals and listen to your hunger cues. If you skip breakfast but experience a mid-morning slump that leaves you overindulging at lunchtime and grazing for the rest of the day, try having a protein-rich breakfast and watch the cravings fade away!

 

2. The Cause: You’re Not Sleeping Enough

When the body is sleep-deprived, the production of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) goes up, making us feel hungrier. Meanwhile, the production of leptin (the fullness hormone) goes down, which makes you even more likely to overeat.

The Solution:

Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night to help control appetite impulses. While this isn’t always possible depending on individual circumstances, keep in mind that your hunger and cravings may be impacted as a result. Focusing on nutrition and lifestyle practices to enhance your sleep can make a real difference. For example, I suggest that my clients limit their caffeine intake, especially after lunchtime, and incorporate daily walks outside to help regulate their circadian rhythm (natural body clock).

 

 

3. The Cause: The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

When we eat predominantly carbohydrate/sugar-based meals or snacks, this can send our blood sugar skyrocketing – and then plummeting shortly afterwards. The drop in blood sugar can make us feel “hangry” and leave us reaching for the biscuit tin, perpetuating the cycle. Elevated blood sugar over the long-term is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, accelerated ageing and many other health complications. Read my blog post all about The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster to learn more.

The Solution:

Protein, fats and fibre can all help minimise this spike and crash, by slowing down the release of glucose into the body. Instead of a slice of white toast with jam (pure carbohydrate), go for wholegrain seeded bread (higher in fibre) with natural peanut butter (healthy fat and protein) and a sprinkle of mixed seeds on top (extra fibre). Upgrade your snacks with smarter choices – try combining apple slices with almond butter, or carrot sticks with hummus. Despite the increase in calories from the nut butter/hummus, this will actually keep you feeling satiated until your next meal, so you don’t end up grabbing a bar of chocolate from the office vending machine.

Many of my 1:1 clients I work with will come to me struggling with weight issues, digestive problems or hormone concerns, and blood sugar can be a contributing factor to all of these. I often find that once we work on balancing their blood sugar levels, their symptoms soon start to improve.

Reasons you're always hungry, beat cravings, nutritionist

4. The Cause: As a Woman, You’re in the Luteal Phase of Your Cycle

For women of childbearing age, hormone fluctuations are a normal part of the (typically) 28-day cycle. The luteal phase of the monthly cycle occurs around a week before your period is due. Cravings are significantly more common during this time of the month, which is thought to be due to an increase in progesterone.

The Solution:

Listen to your body, honour your cravings and be kind to yourself. If you feel the urge to have a square or two of chocolate, go ahead. Balance and moderation are key. Similar to the binge-restrict cycle described above, ignoring your cravings could make them worse and you may end up raiding the cupboards later on. Ensure you’re consuming enough nutrient-dense foods, including complex carbs (like brown rice and wholewheat pasta), high quality protein and healthy fats, to keep hormone-related cravings at bay.

If you’re interested in working together to optimise your nutrition, transform your health and elevate your quality of life, please get in contact via Consultations or book in for a FREE call

 

Did you find this post useful? If so please share it with others! For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes, check out my Instagram @elibrechernutrition

 

Check out my other nutrition-related blog posts below:

 

 

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25540982/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21840335/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21112019/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26043860/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9221991/

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