If you've ever wondered 'why am I always so hungry? then know that you are far from alone. No doubt, you're a part of Generation Graze.
In a time-poor, schedule-loaded society it would seem that something’s gotta give – and, particularly for Millennials, that something has been a traditional sit-down meal. 37% of you choose snacks over a proper meal at least once a week and hands up who can remember the last time they took a full one-hour lunch break? Precisely. 
So, why are you hungry after eating so much? How do you stop those feelings of constant hunger? And is it normal to get hungry every hour?
5 things that might be at play. 
 
1. YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH.
Sounds obvious but it’s not simply a case of eating the NHS-recommended 2,000 calories a day. An active commute, active job, heavy training schedule, your height and hormones are all factors that could cause you to burn more than the average person – and therefore need to eat more, to compensate.
Hunger is often triggered when we are not meeting our fuel needs properly
Equally, when people are actively trying to lose weight, a common mistake for them is to eat too little.
This causes the body to produce hormones to encourage you to eat more to correct the deficit. Low-carb diets, in particular, can cause people to pick the wrong sorts of carbs – those with added fat or too much added sugar – that lead to spikes, hunger pangs and create a viscous circle.
And, we all know what feeling hungry can lead to. Chocolate chip muffins, packets of crisps and a can of Diet Coke.
Being proactive and planning ahead and snacking before we feel too hungry enables us to control portions and appetite a little better and usually leads to us make healthier food choices as a result.
 
 
 
2. YOU ARE ON MEDICATION. 
Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can cause a drive in hunger, whilst conditions such as leptin receptor deficiency can also override the normal status quo, causing you to eat and eat because you constantly feel hungry.
 
 
 
3. YOU ARE TRAINING TOO HARD.
Hunger is often triggered when you are not meeting your fuel needs properly. So, if you’ve smashed out 10km running into work (615 calories), managed to squeeze in a lunch-time yoga sesh (180 calories), or have spin (740 calories) scheduled in after work, you will need to replace the fuel you burn, afterwards. 
The key is to regulate your blood glucose levels
So, if you graze just on carb foods, you will be missing out on protein. Protein is a nutrient that helps you to feel full so it's important to include it regularly throughout the day.
Also consider the glycaemic index (GI) of your snacks as this refers to how quickly or slowly a food containing carbohydrate is broken down and released as simple glucose into the bloodstream. 
High GI foods are broken down more quickly, leading to spikes in blood glucose levels. If we constantly have spikes in our blood sugar, it can make us feel hungry.
 
 
 
 
 
4. YOU ARE EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR.
84% of women feel guilty about their snacking habits
Remember that stat about 54% of women snacking twice a day? Well, four-fifths (84%) of those women instantly feel guilty about doing it. Which means, feeling unnecessarily crappy a lot of the time.
One way of reducing this stat is to ensure you’re not hot-footing it to the chocolate counter of the corner shop every time you get the munchies.
People have different responses to hunger and fullness. This is because our gut hormones control these sensations and levels of gut hormones are different for different people. 
Protein, for example, helps to turn these gut hormones on, raising levels so you can get signals from your brain that you are full and have had enough.
Eating highly refined foods, lacking in protein or fibre, will take longer to influence our appetite hormones – so you will end up eating more before you get the signals that you feel full.
 
5. YOU ARE NOT CHOOSING NUTRTIONALLY BALANCED SNACKS. 
That ideal healthy eating dinner plate balance of protein, vegetables and healthy fats is pretty much habit but who has time to consider ratios when it comes to designing their perfect pre-presentation snack?
If we graze, we are not necessarily getting the right balance of nutrients across the day to keep hunger at bay. We are providing a temporary fix making blood glucose levels more erratic and prone to falling quickly, which, in itself, will trigger hunger.
Snacks containing protein and fibre will help to regulate our blood glucose levels. Combining whole grains with protein or protein with healthy fats are ideal combinations.
Buckwheat pancake with got cheese
Apple with almond butter
A handful of almonds 
Edamame beans
Flavoured chickpea snacks.
Copyright © 2020 Caroline Bienert - Speaker + Nutrition Expert

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