Three Reasons You're Always Hungry - That Aren’t Related to Food. By Rhian Stephenson
28th Feb, 2023
It’s no surprise to see your appetite spike when your nutrition isn’t consistent, but what if you feel you’re doing (and eating) all the right things, and you’re still ravenous? Our appetite is controlled by a variety of factors, and whilst cultivating consistent and healthful food habits is one of the most important ways to stabilise cravings, there are other non-food factors that come into play.
Here are 3 reasons – that aren’t related to food – that you may be hungry all the time.
1. You lack lean muscle mass.
Muscle mass is one of the most important factors in blood sugar control. Metabolically active, it acts as a reservoir for glucose and removes glucose from the blood to use as fuel. When we lack muscle mass it becomes harder to ‘get rid’ of excess blood glucose, which makes us more susceptible to spikes in insulin and a dysregulation of the hormones that control appetite.
What to do – make sure you add strength training to your routine. If you’re over the age of 35 this is especially important; muscle mass declines naturally with age, but we also become more resistant to building muscle, so need to do more to have the same effect.
2. Your electrolyte balance is off.
Electrolytes are needed for the body to function properly, and influence everything from cognition and mood to energy and appetite. When these essential minerals are imbalanced, the body increases appetite and cravings in an attempt to replenish the nutrients it needs, which can create a false sense of hunger. A low-carb diet, too many processed foods, exercise, alcohol, coffee and stress can all contribute.
What to do – Cellular Hydration is our go-to for electrolyte balance and delivers an extra hit of magnesium, one of the most important minerals for stress, mood and physical activity. If you’re a coffee lover this is especially beneficial to have first thing in the morning before your first cuppa; we're naturally dehydrated in the morning, so replenishing our electrolytes first thing will set us up for a better day with fewer spikes and crashes in hunger, mood and energy.
3. You’re not sleeping enough.
Lack of sleep is a killer for appetite. Not only does it elevate cortisol and insulin, it wreaks havoc with ghrelin, one of the hormones involved in regulating appetite (also known as the hunger hormone). Sleep-deprived adults have higher ghrelin levels than well-rested ones, which leads to more hunger and a decreased feeling of satiety.
What to do - the obvious answer is to get more sleep. If you have trouble winding down, try Sleep Tonic for a dose of botanical sleep saviours. But what if you just can’t get more sleep? Don’t worry, there are things you can try. Research has shown that meditation and mindfulness can help combat the physiological changes induced by lack of sleep. It can reduce cortisol, blood sugar and ghrelin, so if you can’t manage to increase your total sleep time, try to take a 10-20 minute break in the day to meditate.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All advice given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.
Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash