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Why am I always hungry?

Why am I always hungry
Do you constantly or often feel hungry? Can’t stop thinking about food or feel hunger pangs? In this post I’ll cover what may be causing these feelings and thoughts and how to reduce them.

Often we can feel hungry, even after eating just a short time ago and this feeling can create a vicious circle of emotions that actually can make the matter worse.

The natural reason for feeling hungry is to make us find food for our survival. We require food and water for use as energy and to repair the body. Our modern lifestyle has us living a sedentary lifestyle with little need to find food for survival, but we still suffer the stresses and strains of living our lives, which our body mistakes as a survival situation that makes us want to find those energy sources.

Reasons why you may be feeling hungry all the time

  • You’re dieting too hard – it may surprise you to know there are ways to diet without starving yourself (Nutrition Plan). Also hard dieting can create the opposite affect you want. You’re body can adapt and eventually you will eat more and gain the weight you lost or even more. Being in starvation mode can switch on the hunger hormones.
  • You’re on a diet that consists of drinking your food. Liquid diets, while it can work for a short period to reduce body weight, will not be sustainable and also doesn’t fill you up like solid food and you will get hungry and end up trying to fill the gaps with snacking and eating more often.
  • Your meal planning is sporadic. Missing meals can have you grabbing all types of food. Going from eating a lot one moment and then small snacks between. Also skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar levels and a stomach grumble and will them lead to over eating later on.
  • You’re eating too quickly. Eating too quickly doesn’t give time for your brain to recognise that food is on its way to provide the energy you need. This then leads to over eating.
  • You’re not getting enough sleep – This reduces leptin levels (hunger inhibiting hormone) and increases the ghrelin hormone (hunger hormone) production (See Food and hormones).
  • You buy too much tempting food that is easily available to you. It’s very easy to grab some unhealthy tasty snacks between meals and not even realise how much of it you have eaten.
  • You’re not active enough. You have become a couch potato and you’re body can’t regulate its blood sugar levels and you end up eating too much, spiking your blood sugar, then crashing, which leads to cravings for more food.
  • You’re not getting enough fluids. Often when you feel hungry you are actually just thirsty. Being dehydrated also can make you feel hungry, when you really just need fluids.
  • You’re eating too much carbohydrates, especially sugary and/or starchy carbohydrates. This causes an insulin spike. Elevated insulin levels increases your hunger. The ingested sugar is quickly stored as body fat and then you very quickly feel hungry again and crave more carbohydrates, a vicious circle that can only be broken by cutting out sugary carbohydrates.
  • Stress – this can cause an increase in cortisol levels which will increase your appetite. This is a survival response. Stress used to be associated with the need for energy to fight for your life and so you feel hungry to find food to supply energy for survival situations.
  • Various emotional states, such as depression. This can lead to comfort eating.
  • You dream about nice food all the time and watch too much food TV.
  • You get bored and eating becomes a way to pass time.
  • You’re pregnant. Pregnancy can increase your appetite.
  • You drink too much alcohol. Alcohol can make you more hungry by suppressing the hormones that tell you that you are full.

How to reduce your hunger pangs

I’m not going to go into great detail here, but simply list ways to reduce those hunger pangs you may be suffering. More detail can be found on much of what is listed here on this site.

  • Eat less carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates or high glycemic carbohydrates to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels that have you craving and eating more simple carbohydrates in a constant vicious circle.
  • Eat more slower digesting complex carbohydrates (See Carbohydrates). This will help keep you fuller for longer so you will eat less.
  • Drink more water. Best to drink between meals as drinking too much fluid at meal times will dilute your digestive juices.
  • Eat more vegetables. These tend to me fibrous and can help fill you up with minimal calories.
  • Eat more fibre in general (see my nutritional plan and about resistant starch) – will help keep you fuller longer, so you will eat less.
  • Eat more healthy fats (see Fats) – will help keep you fuller longer, so you will eat less.
  • Eat more protein (see Protein) – will help keep you fuller longer, so you will eat less.
  • Eat slower to allow time for the food you are eating to be registered by your brain. Leave it at least half an hour after you have eaten before going in for more food. Also sit down and eat and enjoy your food. Don’t eat when distracted and allow that food to be recognised by the brain.
  • Workout within a few hours after eating a large meal or any simple carbohydrates to use up the energy you have consumed.
  • Set up a meal plan (Meal Planning). Have a meal plan with the right food and timing to avoid hunger. Such as eating a breakfast, early lunch, late lunch, dinner and supper for example. So meal times are spread evenly throughout the day in 2-3 hour increments. Also eat a mix of protein, fibre, fat and complex carbohydrates at each meal time where possible. If you want, have 3 main meals and 2-3 smaller ones. This will keep sugar levels stable and hunger away.
  • When shopping don’t shop for the wrong type of foods, these include all junk and processed foods. These foods don’t fill you up for long. Buy simple whole foods that will fill you up.
  • Get more busy. This will remove your mind from thinking about food. Even getting more active can stop you being hungry, as hunger is often perceived and not real. Doing anything can often take your mind off food.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption as it can make you feel hungry.
  • Chew gum. Chewing can send a signal to the brain that you are eating and reduces the brains production of the hunger hormone.
  • When you get a craving, try brushing your teeth instead. This process and the taste of the tooth paste can stop the craving. Another option is to eat a mint, which often has the same affect.
  • Replace liquid meals with solid more fulfilling natural foods.
  • Get quality sleep as this helps produce more leptin and less ghrelin (see Sleep).
  • Spend more time preparing and cooking your food. Often this can reduce how much you crave the wrong type of food. Also reduces how often you grab convenient foods.


The most important part of this is to try to keep your blood sugar levels stable to avoid hormonal fluctuations and keep your hunger pangs in check. Use the above to keep away from the wrong types of food and stay busy to keep your mind away from unnecessary cravings.

If you still can’t stop being hungry after doing the above, there could be underlying health issues that will be best diagnosed by a health professional.