- Hunger is the body’s natural response to keep you from starving.
- A lot of factors can cause hunger.
- There are many ways you can stop yourself from feeling hungry all the time.
Sometimes no matter how much food you consume, you don’t get the feeling that you are full. You still feel hungry and end up eating more than you need.
According to Dr. Monique Tello, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and the director of research for the healthy lifestyle program at Massachusets General Hospital, hunger is complicated and is triggered by different factors.
In this article, experts explain the reasons why we could be feeling hungry all the time.
1. It has to do something with your lifestyle.
Sometimes how you eat and exercise can cause your extreme hunger.
Beth Kitchin, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that when people tell her that they are so hungry, she looks into their food diaries and finds that they are just not eating enough, they also exercise a lot.
2. There could be medical issues.
Tello recommends that anyone who feels hungry all the time but does not gain weight or loses weight should check with a physician.
Polyphagia or excessive hunger may be due to some medical conditions such as:
People who have type 1 diabetes cannot process sugar in their bodies because they have lost their ability to make insulin. Tello shares that these people often complain that they eat a lot, yet they are losing weight. Also, people with type 2 diabetes can feel hungry all the time because their bodies are resistant to insulin.
When the thyroid is overactive, a person’s body and metabolism are “all revved up,” Tello noted. Besides being hungry, patients feel jittery, shaky, and their heart may be racing.
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates feelings of being full and satisfied. If this part was injured, it could result in excessive hunger and hypothalamic obesity.
People taking prednisone may feel hungry all the time. Prednisone is a corticosteroid steroid that has an immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory property and can also increase hunger.
3. The problem might be psychological.
Kitchin explains that typically people get hungry every four to five hours. But according to the two experts, food advertisements and social media food porn can influence people to eat more and often.
“I tell patients, “The more you eat, the more you want to eat,” Tello said.
“The more people eat, the larger the stomach gets. The stomach can stretch to accommodate large amounts of food – it’s a distensible organ. Then if it’s empty, it signals hunger.
The condition of the mind can also affect your eating habits. Research shows that stress and sleep deprivation can increase the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Being bored, anxious, and depressed makes you also crave for food even if you are not hungry.
Experts recommend some ways on how to contain excessive hunger.
- Limit alcohol intake because alcohol reduces your self-consciousness, allowing you to eat more.
- Consult a physician if you have anxiety or depression.
- Watch your diet. Consume foods that are high in fiber, contains a lot of water and low in carbs and sugar.
- Try intermittent fasting. Experts say that it can structure your eating patterns, helps you easily recognize being satisfied, remove snacking, and distinguish real biological hunger.