Ever feel like you’re hungry for “no reason”?
By “no reason”, I mean that you’re eating enough food to count as a full meal… but then a half hour later you’re still hungry. Or… you’re hungry all the time, whether you just ate a full meal or not.
Here are 12 reasons why you still feel hungry even a short time after you ate:
Sometimes, you feel hungry just after eating because you haven’t had enough water. Dehydration can cause intense hunger throughout the day regardless of food intake.
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Sometimes, it’s not about needing nutrients or needing food that makes us feel super hungry – it’s about craving specific tastes. It’s very easy to mistake a strong psychological craving to taste, say, ice cream, as actual physical hunger.
You’re “lusting” after a specific taste, and it can trick you into eating when you’re not actually hungry at all.
3. Psychological Hunger
Sometimes, feeling hunger has nothing to do with whether our bodies actually require food or not. For many people, eating food helps them calm down and reduce psychological pain. Lots of people eat when they’re nervous, or bored, or upset, or scared, or stressed… you get the idea.
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It’s very easy to become addicted to the feeling of eating a delicious food. If you eat out too often, it’s easy to start becoming addicted to butter, or salt – two ingredients that restaurants use a lot of in their foods.
In addition, there are chemicals added to some types of processed foods that skip past your body’s mechanisms for feeling full and make you crave that food over and over again – like a drug.
5. Eating Too Fast
Lots of people feel crunched for time and have to eat fast – but when you eat on the run, you wind up messing up your body’s satiety cycle over the long hall. Eating quickly doesn’t allow your body to release the hormone that signals feeling full – and so you never feel full, no matter how much you eat. Try eating slower to wind up eating less.
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Sometimes, when you drink some wine or some beer during a meal, you can be making yourself hungry.
That’s because scientists have found that alcohol increases the amount of the hormone ghrelin in your body which triggers you feeling hungry.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep
The hormone leptin is critical for your body to be able to feel full. The problem is – when you’re not getting enough sleep at night, your body can’t produce enough leptin – impairing your ability to feel full. Plus, when you don’t sleep enough, your body makes more ghrelin – which we talked about before as inducing hunger.
8. Pressure From Your Peers
It’s hard to say no to an unhealthy choice when you’re alone – when you’re with a group of other people, forget about it! Being with friends or family that are eating desserts or unhealthy foods makes it much harder to say no to them – especially when you want to eat them in the first place! The only way to manage this pressure is to be aware of it, and respond accordingly.
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9. Watching Too Much tv
Studies have shown that while you watch TV you’re more likely to eat processed foods, soft drinks, and other high calorie options – not what you want for feeling full and healthy!
10. Not Eating Breakfast
A lot of people convince themselves they “don’t have time” to eat in the morning – and wind up sentencing themselves to feel hungry all day. That’s because when you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism slows down, forces your body to feel hungry, and then storing the food you do eat as fat instead of using it for energy.
11. Diet Soda
Diet soda can actually screw with your appetite a lot . That’s because when we taste something sweet, our bodies naturally expect sugar – or at least a lot of calories – to be ingested. When that doesn’t happen, it screws up our bodies appetites, causing us to feel hungrier.
12. Chewing Gum
When you chew gum (even sugar free gum!) it stimulates your mouth to produce lots of saliva – which is swallowed and sent to your stomach. Then, after getting all that saliva in its stomach, your body expects food to follow – and when it doesn’t get it, it gets hungry.
Are you always hungry? Why do you think that is and what’s your strategy to deal with it?
The Biggest Reasons You Always Feel Hungry
- Psychological hunger
- Eating too fast
- Not getting enough sleep
- Pressure from your peers
- Watching too much tv
- Not eating breakfast
- Diet soda
- Chewing gum
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I think so much can be a factor here. That is why it can be hard to figure it out.
Being addicted to food is worse than being addicted to drugs. I NEED food to live!
I have this one friend that is always making me eat whenever she eats. She puts me on some sort of guilt trip when she is eating and I am not and then eat so she is not upset. What is wrong with her?
Thank you for the list. Even though I hate the reasons on the list, I understand how they might make me more hungry.
Do you really think not getting enough sleep is something that will cause me to overeat? I have never heard that one before and would not normally associate that with eating.
This type of addiction is never a good thing and its not like I can go cold turkey about it. Now I am hungry for a turkey sandwich.
I have an addiction to food and it is not a good thing. Of course, I need food to survive and that is the worst part. Now, if I could stop being addicted to cheese and fatty foods that would be a bonus!
I am going to test some of these. I personally think it is my schedule right now, but it could be some of these things as well.
When I do not want to eat, but I am craving something, I usually have something like tea, coffee or some wine first. Sometimes that is enough to keep the cravings away.
These are good reasons. I feel that some of these might be specific to certain types of people and not everyone.
I blame my mom. She used to force so much food on us when we were kids that it became a habit and created a minor eating disorder. I have been battling it for many years now and I am not sure what to do.
I think I eat too fast. I see that one on this list and I realized that right away! I think I cram more food down my throat than I really want to eat and by the time my body realizes it, it’s too late.
Having an addiction to food is never a good thing. It takes a lot to beat it and usually it involves having the right kind of support.
That is the key, support! A person needs the right kind of support in order to beat something like a food addiction or something like that.
Sometimes when I get bored I eat. I mean, I have eaten a whole pizza before without feeling like I was hungry, but bored out of my mind. Could that be a problem?
I would say that is a problem for sure!
There are a ton of reasons that you can be hungry, but I think you have the main ones here. I always have an issue when my work schedule changes a little. It seems like my body is all of a sudden not sure what to do.
What I always tell my students is that there are usually only a few reasons your body is hungry. The rest of them are not that easy to control, much like the ones you have listed here!
Cravings have always kicked my butt. I have learned that if I just take care of them and eat what I am craving, they go away faster and I can get back on track with my diet faster.
Addiction to food is a very real thing. It also comes down to a habit. A friend of mine has this problem and it does not matter if she eats at 5PM, she is always eating at 7PM and it is usually junk food. I do not know how to help her.
This is the age old question and because there are so many factors, like the ones you have listed, it is not easy to nail down. You need to use trial and error and see what works for you!
Yes it is, but with a list like this, you can trial and error to see what works and what does not work for you. That is what I plan to do.
I have been down this road. Eating too fast and not getting enough sleep was what I think really messed with my diet. Good tips here for those wondering the same thing!
not getting enough water in your diet is a big problem for a lot of people. they typically are ok if they are getting food, but a few cups of water per day is needed for health reasons.
There are always specific times when I feel hungry. First, when I am bored never fails, then when I am craving things around THAT time of the month and of course, when I am pissed off. These do not seem like good reasons, do they?
Many of these can be controlled, but what most people do not understand is that a good diet routine does take time to accomplish.
I never really have this issue unless it is after a long night of drinking. My stomach feels like crap the next day and I cannot figure out why I am so hungry.
When you drink alcohol for a long period of time, you body is starving for water and it makes you realize this by the feeling of hunger. However, most people take that as a sign they should eat.
It sounds like you have the problem figured out :)
Sometimes I can eat a meal and still feel hungry. I am going to chalk that up to not be 100% satisfied with the meal.
This is very possible. When I am craving cheese, for instance, but I eat a meal without it, I sometimes get the feeling that I did not eat in the first place.
Dehydration is a big one. I read that many times that you think you are hungry, you might actually be thirsty. Always good to gulp down some water to see if that is the case.