7 Reasons Why You Still Want To Eat When You Are Full

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By Ilse de Graaf

Hunger, we all feel it, it’s our bodies way of talking to us and telling us that it needs more fuel but over the years the lines have become blurred, we are no longer in tune with our body the way we once were. We don’t always manage the signals it is sending us to the best of our ability. Most people can go several hours without feeling hungry but for others it is not so simple, they constantly feel hungry and really struggle to satisfy that feeling. Does this sound like you Ninja? There are many possible reasons for this, some of which I have explored below.

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Dieting
If you’ve been following our blog you’ll already know that I am not the biggest fan of this word! People who follow a calorie-restrictive diet are more likely to feel hungry because you are constantly at a deficit. Consuming fewer calories than your body is burning throughout the day can cause you to produce the ‘Hunger Hormone’, aka ghrelin. The hunger hormone is produced by your stomach when your body needs more food, if you are on a low calorie diet you may even feel hungry after you have just eaten. My advice, make sure you are eating enough calories but just make healthier meal choices. Not eating enough food in order to lose weight is wrong on so many levels, you can visit my previous post ‘Weight loss, why the word ‘diet ’ is unhealthy’ for more info.

A diet high in sugar
Can’t seem to stay away from the cookie jar? The sugar in sweet treats may be the reason for your unsatisfied hunger. But how can eating something make you hungry? Sugar spikes your insulin level, the connection to insulin and hunger is pretty strong therefore your body will crave more food to balance out the drop in blood sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for natural sweeteners like a piece of fruit or some raw honey in your yoghurt or over some chopped bananas.

A diet low in protein
Not getting enough protein? It can be a struggle to add a good amount of protein to your diet, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan. Studies have shown that protein is by far the most filling macronutrient (fats, carbs and protein incase you are like “what’s a macronutrient?”). This is mostly because it reduces the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin whilst increasing peptide levels, a hormone that makes you feel full. I hope you’re enjoying the science lesson Ninja?! A great way to add more protein into your diet is by adding nuts and seeds to your meals. I sprinkle my salads with nuts and seeds, I add cashew nuts to curries, nut butter to smoothies (don’t go crazy now, although nuts are great for you, there is such a thing as too many!). Another tip is to reduce your carb serving and add an extra piece of protein, this could be an egg, a piece of tofu or lean meat. 

Too many refined carbohydrates
Do you eat a lot of bread or pasta? Well there it is, that’s why you want more food even though you’ve just eaten! One of the most popular refined carbs is white flour which can be found in your favorite bread and pasta, white flour has been heavily processed and in turn stripped of it’s fiber, vitamins and minerals. Since refined carbs lack fiber, your body digests them super quickly and you are left feeling hungry all over again. A great alternative to breads and pastas made from white flour are wholegrains, artisan bread is also much better for you as it isn’t processed in the same way. Instead of pasta you could also make healthier and more fulfilling choices such as soba noodles, which are made with buckwheat – a great source of fiber.

Dehydration
If you know me, you know this is part of my mantra ‘DRINK MORE WATER!’. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, drink more water! There are lots of reasons why drinking lots of water everyday is good for you, I mean, apart from the fact that it keeps you alive! Sometimes you think your body wants food but actually what it wants is water or perhaps even both food and water, therefore drinking plenty of water before a meal can keep you fuller for longer and reduce your food intake as your body is already partially satisfied. If you feel hungry, eat a meal and still feel hungry, you may be dehydrated!

A disrupted sleeping pattern
Is a busy work schedule or snoring partner disrupting your sleeping pattern? Not getting enough sleep can disrupt your body’s natural hormone balance which may lead to prolonged feelings of hunger. Inadequate sleep impacts secretion of the hunger hormone, mentioned earlier which deregulates your appetite, leaving your body confused and asking for more food! Sleep deprivation or a regularly disrupted sleep can also lead to type 2 diabetes so it is very important to manage and regulate your sleeping pattern. There’s lots of steps you can take towards regulating your sleep, whether you use a trendy new app or you go back to good, old fashioned journaling. Self care is also linked to good sleep, taking the time to relax and/or pamper yourself will aid the sleeping process. Hey, what do you know – I also wrote a blog on self care, you can check it out here.

Passive eating or boredom
Sometimes eating can be seen as a hobby or an activity in it’s own right, we eat for fun a lot more these days – just look at the spike in food bloggers over recent years! But are you choosing to eat when you are actually hungry? For example, meeting up with a friend or colleague or potential client often revolves around food, you head to a cafe, a coffee shop or a restaurant and you end up eating to be social, whether you are hungry or not. There are lots of other activities that are associated with food, travelling, watching a movie, vacationing. How many times have you bought snacks for a train journey? Or rustled together a plate of cheese and crackers to watch a movie? You are eating out of boredom, most of the time you won’t even be paying attention to what you are eating, your main focus is on the movie and you are just passing food into your mouth through habit. Boredom links these habits together and not genuine hunger. A great way to prevent this is to become conscious of it, acknowledging this behaviour enables you to assess your actions and make a choice.

So what’s the bottom line you ask? Well. Excessive or unsatisfied hunger is often a result of imbalanced hunger hormones, which occur for many reasons, some but not all are listed above, including inadequate diet and certain lifestyle habits. Taking a good look at your habits and adjusting your lifestyle will leave you feeling less hungry and help you to reach your weight loss goals. That’s where I come in, I can help you to do just that!

Write me a ‘I’M READY!’ comment below this blogpost if… – yep, you’ve guessed it right – you’re ready!

Let me help you… with POWER!

You’ve got this Ninja.

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja