Ever thought to yourself, “why am I hungry all the time”? Are you always thinking about food and waiting for your next meal? Well, if that sounds like you, perhaps you may be interested in some information on how not to be hungry.
First off, it’s important to note that hunger is normal.
But, if you are constantly feeling hungry throughout the day, it may be a sign that you need to make a few tweaks to your diet.
With these few tweaks, you will be able to stop hunger in its tracks and be able to live a life without the constant interruption of hunger pangs.
So, what do you have to do?
First, we will examine why you are always hungry and then we will go over a few tips on how not to be hungry.
Why are you always hungry?
This is an important question to start off with because to stop hunger, it’s important to tackle the root cause.
There are a few reasons you may be constantly hungry:
- You aren’t eating often enough
- You aren’t eating satisfying meals
- You aren’t eating enough overall calories or macronutrients
Along with this, it’s important to differentiate the difference between emotional and physical hunger.
While the reasons listed above are all reasons you may find yourself physically hungry (characterized by stomach growling and gnawing, stomach aches, headaches), there may be other reasons you are emotionally hungry (characterized by intense cravings without physical hunger).
The reasons you are emotionally hungry include:
- You are restricting certain foods or food groups
- You are using food as a way to cope with uncomfortable emotions
So let’s learn how to overcome both emotional and physical hunger!
Tips to learn how not to be hungry
To begin with, meal timing is essential in tackling physical hunger. By ensuring you are eating often enough, you will ensure you don’t go hungry for too long, and even prevent hunger in the first place.
A good place to start is making sure you are eating something every 3-4 hours.
Once you spend some time doing this, you can begin to adapt based on your personal needs. Some people may need to eat every 2 hours to prevent hunger, others may need to eat every 5 hours to prevent hunger.
This all depends on how big your meals are, how active you are and what your daily needs are. Everyone is going to be different in this aspect.
Another important thing to consider is meal structure. Are you assembling meals that are satisfying and filling?
Luckily for you, there is a certain “formula” you can follow to determine your meals are satisfying:
Carb + Fat + Protein + Fiber
Examples of each category include:
- Carb: grains (bread, pasta, rice, tortillas), fruit, dairy products (excluding cheese), baked goods, starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas)
- Fat: vegetable oils, butter, avocado, olives
- Protein: meats, seafood, nuts and seeds (including nut butter), beans, protein powders and shakes
- Fiber: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains
Try including one of each in most meals and snacks and you will notice that you feel fuller for longer after meals!
Eating enough in general
Next, perhaps a no brainer, but ensure you are eating enough in general. Even if you are eating every 3-4 hours and including a carb, fat, protein and fiber source at every meal, you can still be hungry if you aren’t eating a large enough portion size.
To ensure you are eating enough in general, I recommend keeping a food diary.
In the diary, record what you eat, what time you ate and when you start to feel hungry. Use this information to determine at what meals or snacks you feel hungry soon after eating.
Reflect on how much you ate at those meals and snacks and increase the portion size next time you have a similar meal or snack.
By experimenting you will eventually find out how big of a portion you need to stay full and satisfied until your next meal.
Reintroducing fear foods
When it comes to emotional hunger, it’s essential to reintroduce fear foods back into your diet. What are fear foods you ask?
Fear foods are foods:
- You feel anxiety or out of control around
- You tend to overeat
- You try to actively avoid or not purchase
- You tend to label as “bad” or “unhealthy”
So why do you need to add them back into your diet?
Well, your avoidance of these foods is likely what is causing your emotional hunger. You likely feel strong cravings for these foods because you are restricting them.
By slowly reintroducing these foods back into your diet, you will be able to be around these foods without feeling the urge to overeat them.
Learn more about how to reintroduce trigger foods in my online course:
Coping with emotions without food
Finally, you may have strong emotional hunger because you are using food to cope with uncomfortable emotions like boredom, stress, loneliness or anger.
So how do you overcome this?
Well, start by experimenting with other ways to cope with these negative emotions. You may already have a few things in mind, but if you don’t even know where to start, here are some ideas:
- Going for a walk
- Calling a friend or family member
- Journaling or writing
- Drawing or painting
- Taking a bath or long shower
- Yoga or meditation
- Starting a new hobby
- Playing with your dog or child
Try out a few activities when you start feeling uncomfortable emotions, and write down the ones that worked well for you and what one’s didn’t.
Eventually, try to have 2-3 activities you can keep in your back pocket when you are feeling negative emotions so the emotional hunger doesn’t take over.
“Why am I hungry all the time?”: Final thoughts
Constantly feeling hunger and the overwhelming obsession with food can be very difficult things to tackle. Luckily there are evidence based strategies to overcome hunger that you can begin implementing into your diet.
By implementing these strategies you will not only find that you have less physical hunger and cravings, but you will also have more energy and be in a better mood overall.
Hopefully you found these strategies helpful so you aren’t constantly thinking “why am I hungry all the time?”. Thank you for reading!