Constantly hungry?

Do you regularly feel the effects of hunger, even after eating or snacking? Here are some reasons why you may be experiencing this and advice on how to satiate that hunger.

Plate with wooden letters spelling out the word "Hunger"

Potential Causes

  • Not getting enough calories
  • Anxiety and stress can initially reduce appetite, but long-term stress has been known to increase the desire for comfort foods and may at the same time also increase production of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Stress related weight gain occurs more easily with elevated insulin levels.
  • Hormonal changes during PMS
  • Certain drugs such as corticosteroids, tricyclic antidepressants, and others
  • Conditions such as diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes, Graves disease, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, bulimia
  • Alcohol consumption

What can you do?

  • Talk to your doctor about your medical conditions and any medications you are taking to see what other options may be available. Some medications have side effects that could lower appetite.
  • If you find yourself in a repeated pattern of stress eating or overeating at certain meals, try to find patterns. Look back at what you ate earlier in the day and the time of day you ate. A between-meal snack that includes protein and fiber such as an apple and peanut butter will keep you feeling full longer than a bag of chips. 
  • Get comfortable reading labels. The front of the package is for marketing. The back of the package is where to find the facts. 
    • Complex carbs slow down digestion and have other health benefits. Choose complex carbs instead of refined carbs. 
    • Look for “whole” grain bread products, cereals, rice, and pastas. Look for labels with “whole” grain as the first ingredient. 
    • Choose foods with 5 grams or less of added sugar for every 100 calories per serving.
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