Have you ever had an enormous salad with all the goods at lunch and find yourself hungry an hour later? The. Worst. If this happens regularly, you may find yourself googling your symptoms.
Here are some reasons for your hunger pangs. See what you might have to change in your daily routine to beat your rumbling stomach.
1. You're not hungry. You are CRAVING something.
Do the "chicken" test. Ask yourself whether you are hungry for something like chicken or eggs. If not, chances are that you are not hungry. Instead, you may be craving carbs or sugar.
You can sometimes distract yourself with a cozy cup of tea or a fun activity.
2. You're thirsty.
Often, dehydration masks itself as hunger. Drink a glass of water and see whether or not you are still hungry.
3. You worked too hard at the gym.
You're hungry, tired, and miserable after that workout, if it was too much. Limit your cardio to 5 hours a week and add in more yoga or pilates.
4. You didn't get refreshing sleep last night.
Not sleeping enough causes your adrenals to go into overdrive. This causes your body to need more energy and increase hunger levels. The hormone, ghrelin, which controls your appetite, is released in larger amounts. Get more sleep or seek out strategies for better sleep.
5. You are stressed out.
When stressed, your body releases cortisol, which revs you up. This leads to a spike your blood sugar (glucose) and then you crash, resulting in those hunger pangs. Eat more healthy fats (fish, nuts, avocados, olive oil) to combat this or use stress-busting adaptogenic herbs. As I always say, "You can't get rid of the stress, but you can manage it better!"
6. You are on a prescription medication.
Certain prescription medications increase hunger signals and cause weight gain. The most common culprit is SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like Lexapro and Zoloft.
7. You have an overactive thyroid.
Having an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) increases your metabolism and increases the need for energy. Patients with an overactive thyroid need more calories to keep up with energy requirements. Other hyperthyroid symptoms include: irregular heartbeats, increased thirst, anxiety, and tremors. You should have your thyroid levels checked as hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems and brittle bones.
8. You are not getting the right nutrients.
Did your large meal have enough fiber or fat? Did it have too little protein? Always have some type of lean protein and healthy fat with each meal to ensure your meal keeps you fuller longer. Go ahead and have that side of guac.