Why Am I Still Hungry After Eating? (Here’s What To Do!)
Do you spend most of your day hungry? Can you eat an entire meal and STILL feel like you can down another? If so, you may have said some of these:
- I am STARVING! I can’t stick to this diet anymore. I’m out!!
- I am sooo hungry I could eat all day. And not just junk food either, I could literally eat ANYTHING.
- I eat decent meals, but even after I finish, I am insanely hungry.
If this is how you feel. I know what it’s like.
Or worse: you are ready to throw in the towel!
Being hungry all the time is one of THE top reasons diets fail. But, don’t quit yet. We can fix this! And today you’re going to learn how.
Let’s talk about hunger.
But before we dive in, have you signed up for our FREE 7-day course? This is where I’ll teach you the psychology of weight loss and why getting fit isn’t just eating less and moving more. To get daily lessons delivered straight to your inbox, click here.
What Is Hunger Anyway?
Have you ever wondered why you get hungry?
It’s important to know what’s going on behind the scenes. When you understand what’s really happening, it’s much easier to fix the problem.
1.) The Hunger Hormone
Hunger starts with a hormone called ghrelin. Ghre—what??
Here’s what ghrelin is:
Think about the dashboard in your car. There’s a speedometer showing you how fast you’re going and a fuel gauge that tells you how much gas is in your tank. And, if you’ve ever tried to stretch a tank of gas a bit too far, you’ve seen the low fuel warning light flash.
That’s your signal to pull over and get some gas, OR get ready to start walking!
Ghrelin is known as “the hunger hormone.” And like a low fuel warning, its job is to send signals that it’s time to eat.
You’ll feel ghrelin’s effect through a gradual increase in hunger. It starts as a whisper you can barely hear from across the room and gets louder and louder until eventually, it’s shouting in your ear.
And, although hunger and a low fuel warning are similar in many ways, there is one huge difference.
If you don’t pay attention or ignore a low fuel light, you are going to get stranded on the side of the road.
But with ghrelin, what happens when it’s shouting, “IT’S TIME TO EAT!!” and you ignore it?
It quits shouting!
(Now this is important.)
Many of us never experience what actually happens when we ignore the shouting. We’re too quick to give hunger exactly what it wants.
If you have children, I know you’ll agree with me when I say…
- It’s easy to give in when you’re toddler is throwing a fit. Right? And,
- It’s hard to hold out and listen to the screaming and crying.
You JUST want the screaming to stop. Your blood pressure goes through the roof and you’re frustrated, so it’s tempting to just cave and give in.
But…you don’t! And why not?
Because you know what would happen if you gave in every time your kid threw a fit? You’d have an absolute monster on your hands! (Are you starting to see the parallel?)
So, as a parent, what do you do instead? You ride it out.
Sometimes it might take a few minutes for the crying to stop, and sometimes it might take twenty.
But you know you have to do it because the alternative is = a child that screams all the time!
Back To Ghrelin
Let’s take a look at a study on ghrelin and fasting.
What we see is:
- Ghrelin increases at the times you would typically have a meal,
- At its peak, hunger feels like it’s shouting.
- But then, it gradually decreases WHEN you don’t give into the shouting.
Don’t Give Into The Shouting
When you extend the period of time you go without feeding the monster, it becomes less and less of a problem.
Which is great news because if you are eating less over time, then you take control over your hunger.
And what happens is:
- You are more likely to beat that constant feeling of hunger,
- Stick to your diet, and
- Keep the weight off for good.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting we dive right into a three day fast.
Instead, what I’m saying is:
- IF you still feel hungry after you have already eaten a decent meal,
- THEN don’t give into the shouting.
Trust me. You are not going to starve. Your body WILL adjust.
Now, I realize that just knowing how hunger works isn’t a magic solution to stop being hungry.
If it were that simple, all anyone would have to do to lose weight is read this post, and…POOF! Weight loss!
The truth is: you are facing a real challenge and one that’s not easy when you go at it alone.
To recap, we covered WHY we feel hungry. Now, let’s talk about the opposite of hunger – what makes us feel satisfied.
2.) The Fullness Hormone
Ghrelin is “the hunger hormone” and Leptin is “the fullness hormone.” And like ghrelin, leptin is a signal too.
Remember your car’s fuel gauge you read about earlier? Not only does the gauge tell you when you’re running low on gas, but it also tells you when you’re full too.
But what would happen if your fuel gauge was broken?
If you ever owned a car with a broken gauge, you know the answer to this all too well! You start pumping gas and listen as hard as you can for the sound of gas as it reaches the top of the tank.
But sometimes you get distracted or forget to listen and now you are spilling fuel all over the place.
This is what it’s like when you have Leptin Resistance.
Leptin sends a signal when it’s time to stop eating, but when you’re resistant to that signal, your body doesn’t notice it.
Again, if you have children, this is going to sound familiar. Have you ever been to a children’s birthday party, there’s screaming and chaos all around, but you don’t seem to hear any of it? THAT’s what it’s like to be leptin resistant.
The signals are there, you just don’t hear them. Your body keeps thinking, “If we don’t eat right now, we are going to STARVE!”
…So you eat more.
But, you still feel hungry.
…So you eat even more.
Right now, you might be thinking, This sounds like me, but how do I know if I’m leptin resistant? If you are overweight, chances are your body has become resistant to leptin.
So what can I do about it?
5 Ways To STOP Feeling Hungry All The Time
1.) Start With A Diet You Can Actually Stick To
Before you start any diet – whether it’s Keto, Whole30, Calories In Calories Out (CICO), whatever the latest fad is or whatever popular opinion seems to be – ask yourself this one question:
Can I see myself on this diet five years from now? If the answer is No, the diet you’re on isn’t going to last. That’s why so many people jump from one diet to the next and fall into a vicious cycle of frustration and despair.
Click here to learn how to escape the diet trap and finally stick to a plan that works – for you!
I stress “for you” because what works for your neighbor, your friend at work, or the infomercial you saw on TV – might not work for you.
You need a plan that’s built for your life, your schedule, and the foods you know you’ll eat. And that’s exactly what our coaches do! They’re not going to push you into eating a strict diet if they know it’s not going to work.
2.) Eat More Protein
You’ve heard time and time again you should add more protein to your diet, BUT so many people still leave it off their plate. So, if you’re not adding protein to your day, I’ve got a question for you, Why not?
If you’re slacking on protein, you’re missing a key ingredient in the battle against hunger. So, what are you waiting on? Make it an absolute point to eat protein at your very next meal.
3.) Fiber = Feeling Full
Feeling full means you have a good combination of Protein + Fiber + Water.
Some studies show that the more fiber you eat the fewer calories you consume because fiber makes you feel fuller.
And the good news is: when you feel satisfied you will eat less, and that’s a winning combination!
One of the best ways to get more fiber is from whole fruits and vegetables. Don’t like veggies, you say? No worries, just read, “I HATE Veggies! How Can I Lose Weight?“
4.) Slow Down, SERIOUSLY!
You’ve heard to eat slower, right? I’m sure of it.
You’ve heard tips like:
- Put your fork down between bites,
- Chew each bite twenty times, or
- Take a sip of water in between bites.
In fact, if you search “weight loss tips” in Google. I’m willing to bet 99% of the articles you read will suggest some tip or tactic to eat slower.
And there’s a reason why it’s so popular. Research shows us:
- The faster you eat, the more you eat.
- Eating quickly is associated with weight gain. And,
- The slower you eat, the more satisfied you feel.
After you read or hear the same advice over and over, its starts to fade into the background. And sometimes a strategy doesn’t make sense UNTIL you know why it works.
So, here’s the reason you need to slow down:
From the time you start eating, it can take twenty to thirty minutes before you start feeling satisfied.
How come? It simply takes that long for your hormones to relay the fullness signal.
So, if you’ve finished your first and second helpings AND already have the plate in the dishwasher before those twenty minutes are up, you WON’T feel satisfied.
Take slowing down seriously.
For your next meal, set a timer. See how fast you’re eating, or rather see how slow you CAN eat.
5.) Know How To Beat Emotional Eating
Emotional eating knows no bounds. And if you’re eating to mask, numb, or avoid emotions, you will never, ever feel satisfied.
Sure, you may feel better for a short period of time, but what happens after that? The hunger returns and the cravings kick in.
It’s like trying to fill a swimming pool with a leak, it will never fill until you address the leak. If you’re bored, anxious, tired, or simply seeking the pleasure or reward from eating, then you have to address the cause.
That’s why it is so important to understand what physical hunger feels like, and what emotional hunger feels like.
Want to learn more about emotional eating and how to stop? Read “The Broccoli Test: How to Stop Emotional Eating“.
Knowing what makes you hungry is one thing. Doing something about it is completely different. That’s why you need to take action, now. While it’s on your mind and motivation is high.
Don’t go another day without taking at least one step in the right direction. Signing up for our free 7-Day course is a great place to start.
It’s not just another “Eat these 10 amazing foods!” or “Do these 5 magical exercises!” We dive into:
- What causes emotional eating,
- Why most people can’t stick to a diet, and
- What you can do to make your next diet the last diet you are ever on.