I've had body issues for most of my life.
I've also always had an insatiable hunger for most of my life because, you know, I'm a human, and I also happen to love food.
But when the desire for food reaches a point where it's literally constant, and you never seem to be satisfied, it can be a real inconvenience.
After every meal, I want something sweet. Every hour, I want something to snack on.
Whenever I'm bored, I always seem to turn to food.
To get to the bottom of these never-ending hunger pangs, Elite Daily spoke with three experts, who shed some light on how to work around these cravings, because after all, ain't nobody got time to be hungry all damn day.
First Of All, You Need To Sleep
Susan Schneck, author of the award-winning book The Live Food Factor, The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet, says a proper sleep schedule is key when it comes to curbing constant hunger:
Insufficient sleep will result in an excess of the hormone ghrelin, known as the 'hunger hormone,' causing you to feel like you are hungry.
Still chanting #TeamNoSleep? Because I'm not.
Whatever You're Eating Could Be Making You More Hungry
That bread you're snacking on may be tasty, but it's not necessarily your kindest friend in the food pantry.
Dian Griesel, Ph.D., author of the book TurboCharged, suggests taking a long, hard look at your diet to see what could use some improvement.
To put it simply, she tells Elite Daily,
If what you are eating is leaving you hungry, then you are not eating correctly.
Schneck agrees, explaining that simple carbohydrates and sugar will leave you feeling more unsatisfied than if you didn't eat them in the first place:
The hunger sensation usually comes from the hormone insulin, which is stimulated by overeating simple carbohydrates and sugars. If you eat sugar in the morning, you will likely crave it all day.
So basically, when you're hungry and grab for the nearest bag of chips, you're only exacerbating the issue.
Or Your Body Could Be Deprived Of Nourishment
This may especially be true if you're constantly relying on those simple carbs and sugars.
Mindy Lu, a certified nutritionist and food and body therapist, adds that, no matter how full the body is, if it's not receiving adequate nourishment, it will continue to crave what it needs, thus making you feel super hungry.
When your hunger hits, try grabbing the nearest whole food you can find.
And If You Crave Something Sweet After You Eat, Keep In Mind How Addictive Sugar Can Be
There have been numerous studies on the addictiveness of sugar, so initially, if you are used to having it, your body will crave it.
If you absolutely have to have that sweet fix after your savory meal, then Griesal has a sweet little solution for you:
I recommend peeling a few ripe bananas (those with brown spots), placing them in a plastic bag, and freezing for 10 to 12 hours. Take out and enjoy as an ice cream pop. If you need to satisfy a chocolate craving, before freezing the banana, dip the end of the banana in a pile of cacao nibs -- then freeze. The little bit of chocolate will be just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
What If You Can't Curb That Pesky, Boredom-Induced Hunger?
First, you've got to address the issue at hand here.
Lu says there is a key difference between heart hunger and belly hunger. Heart hunger is linked to your fickle emotions. Belly hunger is when your body actually needs nourishment.
She tells Elite Daily,
People who have heart hunger typically experience the following: It comes on suddenly, the energy is above the neck (so the thought lives in your brain), it can only be satisfied by one food and afterwards, food does not really seem to satisfy it. In contrast, for people who have belly hunger, the energy is below the neck (so the thought lives in your stomach). It can be satisfied by a variety of foods and afterwards, food fulfills it.
If you are experiencing heart hunger, Griesel suggests distracting yourself by getting your body moving.
Go for a walk, clean the house, play with your children. If you know you are just bored, go brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with mouthwash. Food will not be as desirable when you have a clean, minty mouth!
Damn, I'm hungry.
I guess I'll go brush my teeth.