You have just finished a meal or snack, yet you’re still somehow hungry. In fact, you may be even hungrier than you were before! We have all experienced it, but do you ever wonder why? There are several reasons why you may be having a hard time feeling satiated after eating. In this blog, we will go over the most common causes of hunger after eating, as well as what you can do to prevent it.
Reasons You’re Still Hungry
You’re Eating Too Fast
When you eat too quickly, the hormones responsible for telling you that you are full don’t have time to completely work. It usually takes roughly 20 minutes for your satiety hormones to make you feel satisfied. If you eat more slowly, you may notice that you are having an easier time feeling full after eating. The added bonus of this is that it helps with digestion.
Your Meal Lacks Fiber or Protein
Fiber and protein are both integral to feeling full and suppressing appetite. Fiber and protein slow your digestion, making you feel fuller for longer, and have higher volume, physically filling your stomach more readily. If you find that you are hungry after your meals, you may be eating food that lacks fiber or protein, a common problem with processed foods.
You Skipped Breakfast
If you don’t eat enough food in the morning, you are not fueling yourself well for the whole day, and your lunch is just not going to satisfy you as much. Start your day with a breakfast with fiber and protein, and you will feel satiated.
You Aren’t Consuming Enough Water
If you are eating foods with low water content, you may be having a harder time feeling full. Foods with high water content have a higher volume without adding calories, giving you more bang for your buck. Incorporate more water-laden foods into your diet, or suppress your appetite by drinking water after eating.
You Have Diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to insulin. Insulin does suppress appetite, but when you have diabetes, your body’s receptors don’t know how to properly respond to it. Therefore, you might be feeling hungry after meals. If you are concerned that you may have diabetes, see your doctor as soon as possible.
You Have Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a condition of the thyroid that increases your metabolic rate, which causes your body to use more calories than normal. If you have hyperthyroidism, you constantly need to replenish those calories, which may manifest in a massive appetite.
You Drink Too Much Soda or Juice
Beverages with high sugar content impact your appetite by reducing the blood flow to the area of your brain that regulates it. Fructose, a fruit sugar in juices and many sodas, reduces your body’s ability to use leptin, the satiety hormone, so it tricks your body into thinking you are still hungry.
When you are slightly dehydrated, it can sometimes feel similar to hunger. It may be that you are dehydrated and don’t realize it, which is why it seems like you are hungry after you eat. After you eat, if you are still hungry, drink some water and wait for a few minutes before eating more to determine if it was really dehydration.
You’re on Certain Medications
There are certain medications that can increase appetite as one of the side effects. Some examples of medications that can stimulate appetite include seizure medications, steroids, antihistamines, and antidepressants. Talk to your doctor about your prescriptions if you are experiencing hunger after you eat.
A recent study found that you have fewer cravings when your mind is distracted. If you aren’t sure if you are bored or hungry, think about your favorite food. If your mouth starts to water, you may be hungry; if not, you’re probably just bored.
When stressed, people turn to comfort foods with lots of fat, sugar, and salt. When you are really stressed, you may also feel hungry, as the hormones involved in hunger (insulin and cortisol) are involved in stress as well.
How You Can Prevent It
If you find that you are always hungry, it may be your diet. Here are some diet tips to ensure that you feel fuller for longer.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
What you need for breakfast impacts your satiety levels for the rest of the day. Therefore, prioritize eating a healthy breakfast high in protein and fiber within an hour of waking. Some examples of good breakfasts include oatmeal with fruit, eggs and toast, and a smoothie.
If you are someone who tends to forget to eat, your blood sugar levels are inconsistent, making it more difficult for you to feel full. Eating at regular intervals (every three or four hours) will ensure that your blood sugar levels stay consistent and you won’t feel ravenous.
Water makes you feel fuller by taking up space in your stomach. Additionally, staying hydrated will combat the possibility that you are mistaking dehydration with hunger.
These are only some of the reasons why you may feel hungry after you eat. If you are concerned with any of the health conditions listed above, we can help. As a men’s health clinic, we have extensive experience providing medical services to men just like you. Contact us today to learn more about Men’s Vitality Center in Tucson.