After having a meal, the one thing you expect is to feel satisfied when you’re done eating. But sometimes you can find yourself feeling hungry even after you’ve had your fair fill; if this happens to you, you should know that there could be other factors contributing to the sensation of hunger.
#1. Fructose Sugar
Research indicates that fructose which is a primary ingredient in flavoured sodas and other kinds of sweetened beverages can trick our brains into thinking we need more food, even when we’re satisfied. This happens when fructose inhibits our body’s ability to use leptin, a hormone which is responsible for signalling to us when we should eat.
#2. Eating too fast
Triggering the satiety centres in your brain that tell you when you’re full doesn’t happen instantly. Eating too quickly may deprive your brain of the time it needs to switch off these hunger centres; waiting for another 10 to 20 minutes for this hunger sensation to can work.
#3. Adequate breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not eating enough in the morning leaves you experiencing hunger pangs later in the day. The reason is that inadequate breakfast leads to higher rises in blood sugar and insulin in your system, meaning more food cravings. Big breakfast helps to curb this.
#4. Dietary Fibre
Fibre is indigestible but very important because it accumulates in our gut, acting as a bulking agent. It absorbs water and expands, causing the bowels and stomach to enlarge. By doing so, it helps reduce hunger pangs. Fibre also helps prolong the delivery of glucose to the bloodstream by contributing to slow down the absorption of food.
#5. Lack of Folate
Greens are not only useful for providing fibre, but they’re also rich in vitamin K which helps regulate insulin and reduce cravings for food. Studies have also shown that folate protects us against fatigue, depression and weight gain. One study found that dieters with the most amount of folate in their bodies lost up to eight times more weight than those with the lowest amounts. Lack of adequate amount of folate can be a cause of constant hunger pangs.
#6. Health complications
Diseases can be the reason behind constant feelings of hunger. These include:
- Type 2 diabetes, where your body’s receptors fail to respond to insulin (which reduces appetite), you can experience persistent hunger pangs.
- Thyroid problems – known as hyperthyroidism – where your body uses up more calories than it should. This means you have to continually replenish your calorie levels, which leaves you feeling hungry frequently.
- Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease where your stomach experiences irritation and erosion of its lining can create sensations which are easily confused for hunger.
Lack of water can mimic hunger pangs. If you continue experiencing hunger even after eating, try drinking a glass of water and wait 10 or so minutes to see if your hunger subsides. Most of the time you’ll find that this was a case of “false hunger”.