Have you ever eaten everything in the fridge and somehow still crave another? It’s happened to me! Ever so often, I get these pangs of hunger, but it’s not hunger. There’s no way it could be. If you’ve ever had similar urges to eat and eat and still feel “hungry” and keep eating and have NO IDEA WHY… well, there are a few reasons why this may be happening.
Your body is smart…but sometimes it gets a bit confused and decides to send you the wrong signal. It might tell you to feel hungry when, in reality, you’re just thirsty! How crazy is that? No, your body is not crazy. I think it’s pretty interesting. Thirst is something you might not always feel, but hunger, well, that’s something you definitely won’t ignore.
Next time you still feel hungry after a meal, consider drinking some water. Try drinking a glass of water BEFORE you eat. Sure this will fill you up too, so it helps with weight management a bit, but it’s more than that if you’re just dehydrated. Then drinking water will just satisfy you. See More 2 Weeks of Exercise & Benefits.
- Lack of sleep
I am not getting a good amount of sleep messes with your HORMONES! No, not the typical “teenage” hormones. The hormones that help you feel full and hungry. I mention these in my sleep deprivation posts, so check back on those posts to get a little re-cap. The hormones are mainly Leptin and Ghrelin.
“Leptin keeps you lean” and “Ghrelin makes you growl for food,”
is how I remembered them from Med School. When you don’t sleep, your leptin, which usually helps you feel full, will go down. So not so full now. Not enough sleep will make ghrelin, which usually helps you feel hungry, go up. So now you’re extra hungry. Hungry and not getting full, all kinds of BAD MATCH not made in heaven.
- Not eating filling foods look, I get it. It’s so tough to eat right like eating all your veggies, fruits, and good grains daily. Sometimes you don’t eat enough filling foods like veggies, fruits, anything with lots of fiber, or whole wheat grains. On those days, you’re bound to want to eat more of everything! And then some. Yikes, Try to add a side of veggies to your meals not as easy as it sounds, especially if you’re not used to it. It’s small changes that pave the way for great improvements! I can’t quote anyone on that, because I just made it up! Ha!
Diet is super important for your health. You’re probably tired of me saying, “food is medicine,” but it is! So what else is new, right?
Zinc deficiency also messes with your hormones, mainly leptin.
Low in zinc, higher Leptin.. less full. The funny thing is that one of the symptoms of zinc deficiency is decreased appetite.. weird. And a bit confusing. Interestingly, body fat also produces leptin, so the more body fat, the more leptin. So why is it that you don’t get full. Constant high levels of leptin make your body a little resistant to its effects. So do things to improve your sensitivity like eat right and exercise. It’s kind of like insulin resistance.. exercise will help with that too! So what do you do about low zinc? Eat foods high in it, like almonds, oysters, nuts, beans, and others. But like all other vitamins and minerals, if you already have normal levels of these things… taking MORE WILL DO NOTHING for you.
- You’re bored!
Ahh! This has happened to me too, don’t you worry, you’re NOT ALONE.
This often happens in teens too. Does anyone work from home? How many times do you walk up to the fridge out of pure instinct? Look around. Walk away, eating something just to go right back to that fridge a few seconds later. So what then?
DISTRACT YOURSELF! Your mind and body are smart, but they can also be tricked! How? Something SHINY? What? We’re not Dory from Finding Nemo.. oh, but we kind of are. So the next time you feel that itch to “snack,” just call a friend and gossip. Get your mind off food and onto something else. Go for a walk or go for a full workout. That’s even better, ha! Never in my wildest dreams did I entertain the idea that I would become a fashion designer. I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.
- You’re hungry!
Why would your body tell you you’re hungry? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because you are!! DUH! Take a look at the time.. when was the last time you ate?? Too many hours ago? Well, no wonder you feel the hunger pains. Time for you to eat! It’s so easy to lose track of time. Mind over matter for sure! If you’re so busy, you forget to eat and don’t notice you’re hungry. Well, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen. So what do you do? If you have a busy schedule, and you tend to forget food walk around with a snack or two in your pocket. And set the alarm when you think you should be eating. Like I’ve said before. I eat every 2-3 hours because I’m like a little birdy ha! You know yourself, best.. you know when to set your timer.
Although exercise normally helps suppress appetite. People who don’t regularly exercise don’t benefit from this.
So if you’ve exercised excessively, you may compensate for the calorie depletion by eating more. What to do? Eat.. but eat HEALTHY FOODS. Post-workout foods are super important. It’s kind of like bowling. When you get all the pins down in two hits, the third throw will be the one that counts the most. Another thing you could do is exercise more regularly. Sometimes you exercise regularly.
- Emotional Eating
Our emotions are sometimes more powerful than we think. If we’re sad or anxious, we may reach over to that fridge and eat and keep eating. It’s a vicious cycle too. If your eating is tied to your weight, eating more, you gain weight… eat more because you gained weight etc. I myself had issues with this at one point or another too. So it is NOT just you. And YOU ARE NOT ALONE. So what do you do? What can you do? Admit you feel sad and anxious. Try to find out why. Talk to someone about it.
Try to distract yourself. It’s not easy. I attest to that. But making a change is possible too. A change in your health is a good chance. It takes time, but you can do it.
I hope these reasons help you figure out why you’re attacking your poor fridge! And I hope they help you stop while you’re ahead.