Do you ever feel like you’re hungry allllll the time?! You eat healthy, you workout, yet those afternoon cravings always seem to pop up and never really go away. It’s a repetitive cycle that never leaves you feeling satisfied.
Or maybe you do great on your diet Monday through Friday and by the time the weekend comes around, you’re going crazy over everything that’s put in front of you, only to feel like all the hard work you put in Monday-Friday has now fallen to the way side because you over-indulged a little too much at your Saturday get-together.
You’re not alone in this mindset or in this cycle of eating patterns. Here are 3 reasons you’re hungry all the time, and solutions of how to cure those non-stop hunger pains.
1. You’re not eating enough throughout the day. I’ve worked with a LOT of women over the years, many of whom have come from restrictive forms of eating; feeling like they “do good” on their diet, during the week, and then turn around and totally blow it on the weekends. Have you ever considered you may not be “allowing” yourself to eat enough during the day? With restrictive diets comes black and white mindsets and omitting certain foods, which usually leaves us with low-calorie, “healthy” food that maybe don’t provide us the nourishment, satiating type of foods we actually need to thrive, and feel satisfied and nourished. If you’re skipping breakfast, having a salad for lunch and coming home to have white fish, brown rice and broccoli most nights, it’s no wonder you’re feeling so hungry during the weekends. Try adding more food and variety to your meals and snacks during the day and give yourself permission to have something you actually enjoy eating so you’re not feeling like you have to make up for lost time come the weekend. (you can read more about how to break through yo-yo dieting right here!)
2. You may not be getting a sufficient amount of daily protein and fiber.Protein and fiber take a bit more effort to ensure an adequate intake. We live busy, non-stop lives so naturally, we run on convenient, grab-and-go foods. Unfortunately most of those foods are processed (though not inherently “bad” for us) they contain little to no protein or fiber – both of which are slow digesting and can help us feel fuller longer. No matter what snack you decide to run out of the door with, try to pair a protein and or fiber-filled food to it to help you stay satiated. Some examples could include light string cheese and an apple, a piece of whole wheat toast with an egg, or veggies and hummus.
3. You’re going too long in between meals.There’s very limited research on meal frequency and the impacts of weight loss. What’s more important is that you’re hitting your calorie targets by the end of the day, regardless of how many meals or snacks you want to break it down into. What can become potentially problematic however, is going too long in-between meals. If you’re not a huge breakfast eater and don’t prefer your first meal until lunch, that’s ok. But if you find that you go so long in-between meals, and the duration in-between causes you to over-indulge at your next meal because your hunger became so out of control, that can work against you over time. Try setting reminders every couple hours on your phone to eat – even if it’s a small snack – to help reduce cravings and extreme hunger pains.
There are many other reasons why you may feel hungry all the time, like dehydration, over-exercising, or even potential hormonal imbalances. But in my 5 years of coaching women, most of the time, those #hangry pains are likely a result of one, or a combination of, the above reasons.