I’m not going to lie, I am a total foodie. So whenever I’m feeling peckish, I have no problem running to the cafe for a sandwich, whipping up some mid-day pasta, or springing for a microwaved “baked” potato. (Granted, this is my work-week eating routine. On the weekends, I go all-out on lavish meals with friends, if I can afford it.)
It’s recently come to my attention, however, that feeling hungry all of the time is a bit of a problem and could actually be a sign of something more serious than an insatiable palette. So, to ease my mind (and yours), I reached out to the experts to get down to the bottom of my growling stomach.
Reasons Why You're Always So Hungry and 3 Subscriptions to Satisfy Your Cravings
Please note: The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.
The Problem: Stress
If you find yourself falling asleep at work, stuffing your face full of whatever you can find in the cabinet (specifically carb-loaded, junk foods), or becoming quickly agitated with everyday tasks, it may be time to see your doctor or take a vacation — depending on your situation.
Stress is a whole-body issue. It can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress can negatively affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems in both men and women.
“If you constantly feel stressed, it can make you feel hungry all day,” says Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with USA Rx. “This is because cortisol influences insulin and leptin—two hormones that control your hunger and fat-storing abilities,” Hanks continues. “Cortisol increases leptin, which can make it hard to feel full so that you eat more calories. Cortisol also makes your cells resistant to insulin, which can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes or obesity.”
How To Fix It: Anti-Inflammatory Diet
I have endometriosis and interstitial cystitis (both of which are inflammatory, chronic conditions), so it’s super important for me to watch what I eat — unless I want to be curled up in bed nursing a heating pad, that is.
Through personal experience, I can say without a doubt that sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet helps me keep my symptoms at bay, and, according to Hanks, an anti-inflammatory meal plan is one of the best ways to combat stress, too.
“You can bring down cortisol levels by eating an anti-inflammatory diet to restore HPA axis function as well as by finding healthy outlets for stress, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, breathing exercises,” says Hanks.
The Best Subscription for the Job: Splendid Spoon
Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet (sometimes referred to as the “endo diet”) can be rough, especially if you love cooking and food as much as I do. But there is a way to do it without depriving yourself of taste. Enter: Splendid Spoon.
Splendid Spoon is a meal plan subscription service that offers customers the option to have plant-based smoothies, soup and grain bowls, noodle bowls, and more delivered straight to their door. There isn’t any “real” cooking involved, but that’s part of what makes Splendid Spoon so great—it’s ideal for quick and easy breakfasts and lunches.
The meals are plant-based and include anti-inflammatory ingredients. Some notable eats include Vegan Meatballs & Marinara Noodles (it’s honestly soooo good) and the Raspberry Cacao Smoothie. For more info on Splendid Spoon, you can check out my review.
The Problem: A Lack of Protein
Protein is said to be one of the most essential “building blocks of life.” This is because protein has the power to keep you full and satisfied all the while helping you to increase muscle mass and strength.
“One of the main reasons a person may feel hungry all the time is because they lack protein in their diet,” says dietician and fitness expert Marie Salbuvik. “As a general rule, you should aim to get a minimum of 10 percent of your daily calories from protein,” Salbuvik continues. “We use protein as fuel; it's one of our main sources of calories as well as carbs and fats.”
How to Fix It: Add Protein to Your Diet
If you’re feeling famished, try adding a bit of protein to your diet. This could mean frying up a few eggs in the morning, snacking on cheese during the day, or adding chicken (or another high-protein food like fish or legumes) to every meal.
“An unhealthy diet that doesn’t include much-needed nutrients including protein, good fats, and fiber is very likely to make you feel hungry most of the time,” says Amelia Brown, MD. “Protein promotes the release of specific hormones that signal fullness to your brain and body and doesn’t make you feel hungry,” Brown continues. “Protein also plays its role in reducing the levels of hormones that are responsible for stimulating hunger. Besides, good fats and fiber also make you feel fuller and maintain your satiety as they take longer to properly digest.”
The Best Subscription for the Job: Ritual Essential Protein
OK, so most protein shakes (at least in my experience) taste like wet chalk dust. But hear me out: The Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ by Ritual is honestly the best-tasting health shake I’ve ever had in my life.
Not only is it plant-based, but it’s packed with 20g of protein and has zero sugar. It also smells really, really good like vanilla. Just be careful when you’re scooping it out (it comes with a scooper!) because it can get messy. For more info on Ritual, you can check out my review.
The Problem: Dehydration
Did you know that thirst can actually make you feel hungry? According to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, up to 37 percent of people mistake hunger for thirst. This is because many of the symptoms of hunger and thirst overlap. Common signs of dehydration include dry skin, fatigue, increased heart rate, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
“Some individuals confuse true hunger with thirst,” says Mary Wirtz, MS, RDN, CSSD, and consultant for Mom Loves Best. “Adult men need appx 3.7L of fluids daily, and women require appx 2.7L of fluids daily for basic hydration needs, though hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables with a high water content count towards this goal!”
How to Fix It: Drink More Water
I don’t know about you, but I could definitely benefit from increasing my fluid intake. Most days, I’m a human fueled by coffee and tea alone (which is really bad for my IC!).
“The perfect remedy? Staying adequately hydrated throughout the day by sipping on beverages with no added sugars and limiting caffeine,” says Wirtz. “Hydrating drinks include water, carbonated water, milk, milk alternatives, among others.”
The Best Subscription for the Job: Boxed Water
Nowadays there’s a subscription for everything, and that includes water. Boxed Water delivers flavored (Cucumber, Lemon, Grapefruit, or Blackberry) and non-flavored water in plant-based cartons right to your door. Subscribers can choose between small 250ml or 300ml cartons and 500ml pr 1l cartons, all of which are 100 percent recyclable.
Boxed Water offers new Basic subscribers free shipping, 10 percent off their first purchase, and 10 percent off of recurring orders. Boxed Water also plants one tree for each new member’s first order.
Do you have any life hacks to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied throughout the day? Let us know in the comments below!
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