You had just eaten about a minute ago, but you’re still hungry, and you constantly are. But why?
Hunger is always felt the same, but hunger is not created equal.
Here are 6 explanations on what’s triggering your cravings.
- Nutritional Hunger. This is the only genuine form of hunger. Suggested by its name, this type of hunger occurs when your body asks for nutrients. However, since our bodies are taught to eat anything, be careful as nutritional hunger may not communicate all the time honestly.
- Thirst. When your body is thirsty, it’s often because you are hungry. So if you ever feel hungry, try gulping down some water, and your hunger might disappear, because guess what, you’re just thirsty.
- Variety. Our body craves variety. And this craving is actually an evolutionary protective mechanism from a single food source so thank your body you get to try out different flavors. Cravings are actually natural. It ensures that our bodies get a range of different nutrients in our diet. So the next time you think you are hungry, maybe you’re just trying to figure out what variety of food and nutrient does your body need at the moment.
- Low Blood Sugar. This is not uncommon. It’s a common issue but is also mistaken for hunger. To deal with low blood sugars, avoid low-quality sugars in your diet. Also, make sure that your sugar intake, even from fruits, should still be limited and seasonal.
- Emotional Hunger. Have you ever felt so sad that you want to stay in front of the TV, binge some popcorn, pizza and ice cream and then be stressed again for overeating? Emotional eating is a dangerous form of dysfunctional eating. People often justify it with emotions. Food is commonly what we resort to if we are stressed, emotional, overjoyed, or just simply bored. The food industry is actually very wise with the food they produced so it pays to avoid venting your emotions over food, and instead do some other worthwhile activities.
- Empty Stomach Hunger. This is a survival mechanism so designed that if you are hungry, your response would be to look for food. But, “If I see food, I should eat it” is your principle, this is clearly not hunger, just a feeling. Our stomachs are intricately designed to stretch because we used to live under extreme conditions, feast and famine. However, by the time the 21st century entered, this is no longer the case. So the next time you think your stomach is empty, think again. You may not really have an empty stomach – you’re just feeling that you are, so be careful.