While most of us believe that hunger is our body’s way of telling us it needs food, there are other reasons why your inner dinner bell may be clanging. Here are 10 to consider:
1- You’re thirsty
Many people think that they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Next time you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water instead and see if your hunger subsides.
2- You’re eating too much salt
Salt can trigger both thirst AND hunger! Processed foods are loaded with salt, so avoid them at all cost.
3- You’re PMSing
The hormonal changes associated with PMS trigger your appetite and cravings, especially for refined carbs and sugar. Concentrate on complex carbs (legumes and vegetables), and proteins in your meals.
4- You’re a diet soda lover
The sweetness of diet soda tricks your brain into thinking calories are coming, and when they don’t, your brain starts to demand them. Lay off soda—both regular and diet.
5- You’re stressed
Your body’s stress hormone cortisol triggers a voracious appetite. Time to chill out—try massage, deep breathing, prayer, meditation, essential oils, acupuncture, exercise, taking up a hobby or even adopting a pet.
6- Side effects of your medications
Certain medications can cause increased appetite, including allergy meds, insulin, steroids, blood pressure drugs and antidepressants. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.
7- You don’t get enough sleep
Lacking sleep has been linked to higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which can trigger hunger. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so make sure you’re getting enough.
8- Your thyroid is out of whack
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause increased hunger. If you suspect thyroid issues, see a doctor and request a TRH Stimulation Test (aka TRH Challenge Test).
9- You’re diabetic
Having undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes makes it difficult for your body to get blood sugar (glucose) to the areas that need it, and this can trigger hunger. Get your blood sugar tested if you haven’t lately.
10- You’re undernourished
Keep it real in your diet—fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry and fish, eggs, nuts, real butter and dairy. Supplement with a complete multi-vitamin and mineral formula to be sure all your bases are covered.
To your health,