A very common question I get from people is, “Why I am always so hungry?” There are many reasons for this, but these six unhealthy habits are the most common hunger triggers:
1. You do not drink enough water
- When you are dehydrated, your body can confuse thirst with hunger. You end up reaching for a Snickers bar instead of a glass of water. For more details about checking your hydration status, read my blog “Are You Hydrated?”
2. You do not get enough sleep
- I’m sure you’ve heard it over and over again: you should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. If you are not getting enough sleep, your hormones will become catawampus and tell your brain to “eat eat eat!”
3. You skip breakfast
- I hear this one every day. People tell me “Oh, I don’t have time for breakfast in the morning.” Then I ask them, “Do you have time to brush your teeth and shower in the morning?” If the answer is “yes,” you have time for breakfast! If your answer was “no,” well, hopefully you’re not one of my coworkers. Make breakfast a priority and involve your family. Check out my post Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for some inspiration.
4. You eat too quickly
- It really does take your stomach about 30 minutes to tell your brain that you are full. If you scarf down a meal in five minutes, you will likely still be hungry and reach for seconds. Take your time to enjoy your meals, preferably without a TV nearby.
5. You deprive yourself
- This is a common mistake for dieters. When you deprive yourself of all your favorite foods, you will likely crave them and eventually binge on them. The trick to eating healthy without depriving yourself is portion control. If you love chocolate, have a small square of it with your lunch. If it is ice cream you crave, portion out a serving in a small dessert bowl. If you love chips, pre-portion them into a plastic baggie or bowl and eat only that amount.
6. Alcohol consumption
- Most of us have experienced the munchies after enjoying drinks with friends. There is a physiological reason for this; alcohol can cause your blood sugars to decrease, causing you to become hungry. And face it – when you get the munchies, you will likely reach for high-calorie foods such as pizza and fat-laden appetizers. Make sure to eat a good meal before you go out for cocktails, and remember, alcohol should always be consumed in moderation.