5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stop Snacking
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Have you noticed that you get hungry more often than those around you?
It doesn’t seem to matter if you just ate… you’re still hungry!
Maybe you find, more often than not, your stomach growling, you feel on edge, or you even get shaky at times.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry… there’s an easy fix.
Here are 5 reasons why you can’t stop snacking.
If you talk to a researcher, they’ll tell you hunger is a signal for when your body needs nutrients, like when your car’s fuel light comes on.
But unfortunately, that’s not how hunger works in the real world.
There are two hormones that work together to control hunger: the first is called ghrelin. This hormone is produced in the stomach, and its levels increase the longer you’ve been without food. Ghrelin travels to our brains and tells us when it’s time to grab a snack.
Another hormone, called leptin, puts the brakes on ghrelin. Leptin is produced when you eat a meal. It lets your brain know when it’s time to stop eating.
As you can see, if you don’t have enough leptin or you have too much ghrelin then you are going to be hungry all the time.
And the problem is, far too many things can throw this delicate balance out of whack.
Here are the factors that influence leptin and ghrelin levels in your body.
- Not eating frequently. The first, and most obvious, is you haven’t eaten in a while. Studies show most people begin to feel hungry three to five hours after they eat, but this depends on what you ate. A meal that has a healthy combination of macronutrients like fat, protein and fiber takes longer to digest (and keeps leptin around longer). On the other hand, a meal of simple carbohydrates can make you feel hungry faster because it’s easier to digest. Make sure you’re getting a balance of complex nutrients at each meal.
- Exercise. Have you been exercising more lately? Strenuous exercises that burn calories and cause the breakdown of muscles. This creates a desire for food. Even if you’re not running a marathon, however, you’re probably going to be hungry more often if you exercise regularly.
- Poor sleep. If you didn’t sleep well last night, ghrelin knows it and floods your bloodstream. This is why it may be harder to turn down junk food and snacks after you’ve had a bad night’s sleep.
- Medical conditions. There are a few conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, low blood sugar, and others that can cause you to be hungry all the time. If you make changes to your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, yet you’re still hungry all the time then you should seek medical care.
- There are a few drugs that can cause you to eat all the time. If you think this might be the case, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about the side effects of the medication you’re on.
P.S. If you’re worried about your snacking, I have some good news: researchers have found that chocolate could help you lose weight! Find out more right here.
Tigar, Lindsay. “Why Am I Always Hungry? 8 Reasons Your Stomach Is Constantly Growling.” 11/5/21. https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/why-am-i-always-hungry
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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