Why Am I a Bottomless Pit?
Do you ever feel like no matter how much you eat, you’re still hungry?
This is a common complaint that we hear on a regular basis. I wish I could give you the one quick fix but reality is it’s never that simple since you are a unique individual!
That said, what I can do is provide some possible explanations and solutions for your insatiable appetite!
6 Reasons Why You’re Constantly Hungry
1. Your Body Needs MORE ENERGY.
This is definitely the most straight forward scenario and the easiest one to correct. Sometimes you are simply not providing your body with enough energy and the hunger signal is an indication that it needs more fuel. This is most common in individuals that are highly active or underweight as you can probably imagine.
Eat more food!
2. You Have a Nutritional Deficiency
If your body is lacking key nutrients (especially minerals), it will do whatever it can to make sure it obtains them. For example, if your body is deficient in Magnesium (very common due to soil depletion), you will likely develop cravings for foods that contain magnesium (chocolate, nuts, grains etc) which may lead to overeating. Another example is a deficiency of saturated fat (essential for hormone synthesis amongst many other things) can cause cravings for sugar and carbs that will ultimately be converted into fat to satisfy your bodies requirements.
Eat a wide variety of nutrient dense foods. It’s easy to stick to the same meals over and over but this is a recipe for a nutrient deficient disaster! You can use online tracking tools like Cronometer to track your nutrient intake or work with a health professional to ensure you are getting what your body needs!
3. You’re Lacking Protein
This falls into the nutritional deficiency category but it’s so important it needs it’s own section! Of the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat), protein is the most satiating (filling). You can probably relate to this if you have a Tim Hortons double double & donut for breakfast and wonder why you’re hungry an hour later. Well you just crushed a bunch of sugar/carbs, some fat, and very little protein! You will ALWAYS be hungry if you are deficient in amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
Ensure adequate protein consumption at each meal. If you are vegetarian or vegan, consider the use of protein supplements.
4. Sleep Deprivation
One of the most overlooked causes of appetite and weight issues is SLEEP. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to issues balancing blood sugar and poor food choices the next day. Personally, I am very snacky the day after a poor sleep.
Always start off by regulating your circadian rhythm. You can check out this article I wrote here to learn more. The keys are to get plenty of natural sunlight, live in darkness after the sun sets, don’t eat when it’s dark, and learn how to turn off your mind at night!
5. You’re an Emotional Wreck!
Sorry for being harsh but it’s true. If you’re stressed to the 10’s or have other negative emotions riding high, there’s a good chance you will reach for food as a coping mechanism. It happens to all of us, and no matter what other changes you make, it will be difficult to change this pattern until you resolve the stress/emotion.
Set aside time everyday to do something YOU LOVE. Something that makes you happy and relieves stress. Dancing, singing, playing with your kids/pets, sports, whatever! This is a good starting point, the next step is develop a mindfulness/ meditative practice to become aware of these internal states and shift them.
6. Tis the Season
Not holiday season, but harvest season! I don’t know about you but in the late summer and fall I am RAVENOUS. This is because in the climate where I live (Canada), this is when there’s an abundance of food growing in my environment and my body is telling me to stock up for the winter! Thanksgiving is meant to be a feast because there will be some upcoming winter scarcity and your body needs some extra insulation and energy (aka fat) for the winter.
Eat seasonally and pay attention to the rhythms of nature. It’s okay to eat more during harvest season (particularly carbs) as long as you’re respecting the natural decrease in appetite during late winter and spring.
Of course there may be other contributing factors to your insatiable appetite but these are good starting points to explore. If you’re still having difficulty managing your appetite or weight, consider working with a Naturopathic Doctor to determine the underlying root cause.
Confused about which diet to follow?
Article Written By:
Dr. Andrew Chelladurai ND
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