It is normal to feel hungry. For energy, your body requires food. You may experience hunger even after eating a meal. Your stomach may feel grumbly and empty, or you may experience a headache, irritability or difficulty to concentrate.

Furthermore, hunger can be a symptom of sentimental emptiness. You connect for food to relieve yourself of sadness, boredom, or even happiness. The issue is that eating more than your body requires to endorse your everyday activities can result in you gaining weight.

What is hunger?

There are two types of hunger. Let’s dive into it and discuss them in detail.

Physical hunger: Physical hunger is the kind of hunger when you really need to eat something. Your stomach is a muscular organ that expands and contracts. You feel full because your stomach stretches after eating or drinking. Leptin is a hormone that signals to your body that you’re full, allowing you to stop eating. Whereas, your stomach contracts when it’s empty and it causes hunger pangs. Your blood sugar levels drop and your stomach produces a hormone known as ghrelin, which provokes you to eat.

Psychological hunger: Psychological hunger is also known as emotional hunger. It isn’t caused by real physiological hunger or a nutritional need. It occurs when you have an emotional attachment or deep desire for a specific food as a result of habit, anxiety, or environmental factors. Emotional hunger, as compared to true hunger, causes cravings for meals, usually something salty, sweet or crunchy.

7 Reasons for your insatiable appetite

1. It’s not actually hunger: You’re beginning to turn to food to deal with unpleasant emotions like grief, depressed mood, and anxiety. Alas, eating salty, sweet, or fatty foods causes your brain to produce feel-good hormones, which strengthens those eating habits. The egg test is your best bet. You’re possibly not hungry if you’re not craving protein, such as eggs, chicken, or beans.

2. Unbalanced meal: You are more likely to experience hunger throughout the day if you do not consume a major food group i.e.; protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, particularly fiber-rich meals. Each of the following nutrients encourages a sense of fullness by slowing digestion. On the other hand, consuming too many refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar variations that cause your body to crave more food.

3. You eat quickly or you eat while you’re distracted: Eventually, eating too speedily or while distracted can play a part in chronic hunger even after you have your meal. Mindful eating is also known as intuitive eating, it involves paying attention to your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals to determine when to eat and when you should stop.

4. Medications: Steroids, seizure medications, antidepressants, and contraceptive pills can make you hungrier than usual. Consult your doctor if you are concerned that your medications are making you hungry. There may be a substitute that does not have the relatively similar negative side effects.

5. Your body is not getting proper sleep: Sleep and eating habits are intimately connected. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body releases more ghrelin and craves more calories. Hence, when you are deprived of sleep, you constantly feel hungry. Insufficient sleep can disturb the hormones that control hunger in your body. Lack of sleep increases appetite and makes it difficult to feel full.

6. You aren’t hungry, actually you are thirsty: Fluids not just make you feel full, but it also helps in the absorption of nutrients from food. Furthermore, thirst can be confused with hunger. Are you unsure whether you’re thirsty or hungry? Before you begin preparing a meal or snack, drink a full glass of water.

7. Stress: Increased appetite can be because of stress. Your body incorrectly believes you require more nutrition to meet your daily needs. Cortisol, the stress hormones, can cause a drop in blood sugar levels that can lead to hunger and craving for food. Numerous people who are stressed crave an appetite that is high in sugar, fat, or both. It could be your body’s effort to “turn off” the portion of the brain that makes you anxious.

Bottom line

You may feel like eating frequently if your intake appears to lack fiber, protein or fat, all of which encourage fullness and reduce appetite. Extreme hunger can also indicate a lack of sleep and chronic stress. Furthermore, certain treatments and illnesses have been linked to frequent hunger.

If you find yourself eating too quickly or becoming distracted at eating meals, you can try mindful eating, which aims to reduce distractions, increase focus, and slow your chewing to help you realize when you’re full.

Constant hunger could be an indication of a medical condition such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression, or pregnancy. As a result, if nothing works for you, you should see your doctor.