Why Am I Always Hungry?
Do you ever feel like you are hungry, ALL OF THE TIME?
Don’t worry, you are not alone…
There are many reasons to feel hungry. Of course, the most obvious one is that you are actually physically hungry. Perhaps your stomach is empty, your blood sugar has dropped, and your hunger hormones are having a party.
But what if your basic needs are met, you are fueled up and still you feel hungry?
Great question and kudos to you for exploring what else can be going on.
After all, the hunger you are feeling may not be the physical need for nourishment.
You might be wondering, if it’s not a signal that my body needs food, what else can it be and how can I tell the difference?
I’ve got ya covered.
Let’s take a look at what else can be causing your hunger.
The urge to eat can be triggered by things other than the need for nutrients on a cellular level. Your environment, who you are with, state of mind, among other things can trigger a feeling of hunger.
Ever walk past a bakery where the smell of fresh bread or pastries is wafting into your nose and suddenly you find yourself walking out of the shop pulling pieces of fresh bread from a paper bag and putting them into your mouth. You don’t even remember being hungry before you passed the bakery, yet the smell of the fresh bread drew you in. Can you relate? Some call this “nose” hunger.
The same can happen when you see something that looks delicious. Suddenly you feel hunger and the “eye” candy is in your mouth.
So our “hunger” can be triggered by our senses. Smells, aesthetics, even taste or imagining what something tastes like. Did you ever eat chips or a brownie with the intention of having just one serving and find yourself going back for more because it tastes so darn good?
It may be a craving or an emotional trigger.
If we are used to feeding our anxieties, fears, and depressions with food, we can mistake our stomach’s grumbling for physical hunger. The stomach reacts to our emotions
When our cells need nutrients, we might feel irritable, tired or we may get a headache. Cellular hunger is one of the hardest types of hunger to sense, even though it is the original reason for eating. When we were children, we intuitively knew when we needed to eat, and what our body was craving. But over time, we lose our ability. Through mindfulness, it’s possible to become more aware of our body’s cravings for specific nutrients and to develop some of the inner wisdom we had when we were children. As Jan Chozen-Bays says, “To learn to listen to cellular hunger is the primary skill of mindful eating.””
These are common reasons why some people feel hunger when their bodies don’t actually need more fuel. It could be brought on by a certain type of diet, stress, or other things going on in life.
It’s easy to mistake psychological and emotional hunger for physical hunger.
I’m going to talk about the difference between these types of hunger, and give you some tips how to figure out which is which.
And, of course, I will give you a very filling recipe too!
Physical hunger vs. psychological hunger or emotional hunger
Your physical hunger is regulated by the body through your hunger hormones. And of course, it should be. You don’t want to be completely drained of fuel and nutrients for a long time. So, you’re programmed to seek food when your body physically needs it. Some of those physical needs are that your stomach is empty or your blood sugar has dropped.
Psychological or emotional hunger is eating to overcome boredom, sadness, stress, etc. It’s based on a thought or feeling. It’s what happens when you see a great food commercial or smell something delicious. It’s not from your empty stomach or low blood sugar. Remember the bakery scenario from above.
So, here’s how to tell which is which.
Eight steps to figure out if you’re physically hungry or not
1 – The first thing you need to do is stop to evaluate. Scarfing down that protein bar at the first sign of hunger isn’t necessarily going to help you.
2 – Now that you’ve stopped. Pay attention to where this hunger is coming from. Can you actually feel or hear your stomach growling?
Did you skip a meal, and haven’t eaten in hours? Or are you seeing and smelling something divinely delicious? Perhaps you’re bored, sad, or stressed? Take a peek into all these areas and really pay attention, and simply observe how you are feeling. No judgement.
3 – Have a big glass of water. Now observe your hunger feeling for at least a minute. Really dig into the source of the feeling. It can be easy to jump to a conclusion, but that may or may not be the right one. So listen to your body and mind very deeply.4 – If you do find that your feelings may be the source, then face them. Acknowledge and observe them. They may just be needing comfort and recognition, even if they sound like they need food. Try deep breathing, having a stretch, or going for a quick walk to release some of these emotions; this also gives your mind a chance to focus on something other than the feeling of hunger.
5 – If you’re pretty sure that your body physically needs nutrition, just wait a few more minutes to make sure.
6 – Now you can be fairly sure whether your hunger was from emotions, boredom, thirst, or actual physical hunger.
7 – If it’s physical hunger, feel free to eat healthy and nutritious food. To fill you up, the food you eat should be high in protein, fibre, and water. Eat slowly and mindfully. Chew well and savor every bite of it.
8 – Rinse and repeat at the next sign of hunger.
The feeling of hunger can manifest for many reasons. Of course, if you’re physically hungry and need the food and nutrients, then this is what it’s for!
But often, there is an underlying psychological or emotional reason you might feel hungry.
Now you know my eight steps to figure out if your physical body is hungry, or if you’re bored, sad, or stressed.
Use this process over and over again to feed your body what it actually physically needs (and not overdo it).
I believe in you! Yes. You. Can.
With Unconditional Love and Support,