Here are six potential causes of your ongoing hunger.

Now that it's 11 o'clock in the morning, you're feeling peckish. You are famished, not just hungry. You had a proper breakfast and now it's way too early for lunch. Another possibility: it's 1:00 p.m. and you're already hungry despite having just finished lunch.
again You'll understand if you've ever returned from a meal only to realize that you're already hungry again. You're obviously full because you just ate, " I can't believe I'm hungry again. A silent scream escapes your lips You then hear the voice of your inner hypochondriac: Can you tell if I'm experiencing hunger pangs? How do I know if my period is coming or not? Can tapeworms cause this?   Disclaimer: (it's not) You try really hard to find an explanation for it instead of considering that maybe, just maybe, there's a perfectly normal, nothing-to-worry-about reason why you're feeling hungry. Actually, there are a few things that can be triggering your stomach to growl like it hasn't been fed in a long time, and guess what? That's perfectly normal, of course Here are six potential causes for your ongoing hunger:

Why you're hungry and how to stop it for good

You aren't getting enough fiber in your diet.

Most people don't get nearly enough of the good kind of fiber that helps you feel full and stay that way. Therefore, if you aren't sure why you're hungry, a good place to start investigating is your fiber consumption. To begin, if you're not getting enough (or any) fiber, exactly what are you consuming Refined carbohydrates make up a large portion of the standard American diet. Sugars and grains that have been processed to remove fiber, vitamins, and minerals are examples of refined carbohydrates (also called simple carbohydrates). Sweets, cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals, white rice, white pasta, pizza, bagels, and white bread are all examples of refined carbohydrates. Overconsumption of refined carbohydrates leads to rapid digestion and rapid sugar absorption into the bloodstream, resulting in blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes. When your blood sugar drops, you may experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including weakness, trembling, irritability, fatigue, and hunger, prompting you to eat again, even if you haven't been hungry for quite some time.

If your meal had been higher in fiber, however, things might have turned out differently. Foods high in fiber take longer to digest because fiber is indigestible. This is especially true when compared to foods low in fiber (such as refined carbohydrates). So, eating foods high in fiber actually slows down digestion. This keeps you fuller for longer and reduces the peaks and valleys in blood sugar that can lead to overeating. More so than low-fiber foods, high-fiber foods are filling. Foods that are high in fiber have more volume because of the bulk that fiber adds to food. When you eat foods high in fiber, they expand in your stomach, taking up more room, and then they move slowly through your digestive tract because fiber is (again) indigestible. This is why replacing refined carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates helps you feel fuller for longer. Delicious, low-effort, high-fiber recipes are just a click away!

The protein in your meal was deficient.

Like peanut butter and jelly, protein and fiber go well together. While each has merit on its own, their combined qualities shine brighter. It's possible that you'll get hungry again if your dish is high in fiber but low in protein. When consumed in adequate amounts, protein prevents hunger pangs from resurfacing and keeps you from reaching for another snack. Because protein takes longer to digest, this is one reason. Therefore, eating protein causes a delay in stomach emptying, which in turn causes a longer period of feeling full. Our hunger and fullness hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are affected by protein as well. As a result, ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone) are lowered and leptin sensitivity (the fullness hormone) is potentially heightened1,2. Last but not least, if you had consumed more protein, you might not have snacked on less healthy foods that do not satisfy your appetite. If your meal was low in protein, like those that were low in fiber, it's likely that it was high in refined carbohydrates, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, crash, and leave you feeling like you need to eat again, for the reasons given above.

Thirdly, you didn't get enough sleep last night.

Lack of sleep, whether from tossing and turning or staying up too late, may be the root cause of your hunger. This is because ghrelin and leptin, hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, are also influenced by how much and how well you sleep. These hormones function normally after a night of sleep, prompting hunger when it's time to eat and telling us to stop eating when we've had enough. When we don't get enough sleep, our bodies' levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (the satiety hormone) become unbalanced. It's possible that you're still not as full as you'd like to be after eating.

Fourthly, you are not really hungry but rather thirsty.

Some of the time, what we think is hunger is actually thirst. A lack of water can cause hunger pangs. It's because we haven't been getting enough water that we've been mistaking our feelings of weakness, irritability, and exhaustion for hunger. Water aids in digestion and is essential for nearly every other bodily process, so getting plenty of it is always a good idea. Maintaining proper hydration requires drinking at least 3 liters of water daily.

You're not getting enough fat in your diet, which is a major health risk.

Despite its unfavorable reputation, fat is an essential part of any healthy diet. Eating a little fat with each meal slows down the digestive process. Just like how a high-fiber or high-protein meal slows digestion, so too does this. This means you'll feel full for longer after eating it compared to when you eat a meal without it. That being said, you may find yourself hungry again sooner than you'd like if your last meal lacked fat (olive oil, cheese, avocado). However, if weight loss is your goal, you should be aware that the calories from fats can add up quickly. The list of fat exchanges can be found in the F-Factor Diet Book.  

When it comes to fats, experts advise going for the unsaturated varieties and using them sparingly. In Step 1 of the F-Factor Diet, you should increase your intake of healthy fats to 30% of your daily calories, or about 33g of fats per day (in addition to the fats already present in your proteins).

Shockingly, number six is: YOU'RE RUNNING ON NOTHING.

This morning's long run on the treadmill That could be the real reason why lunchtime has you counting down the hours. Glycogen, derived from the foods you eat, serves as an instant source of energy during exercise. This is the case whether the task at hand is as easy as getting out of bed or as taxing as competing in a triathlon. Difference between light and intense exercise is the amount of glycogen the body must use to fuel the activity. The body uses a lot of glycogen and can even deplete its entire supply during strenuous physical activity like a cardio session that causes you to sweat profusely. Emptying your glycogen stores is a common phrase for this. This is why before engaging in any physically demanding activity, athletes will "carbo-load" so that their muscles have a ready supply of glycogen. Your body recognizes that the current sweat-session isn't the last activity for which you'll need energy, and as a result, it wants to refuel in preparation for the next activity, hence the rumbling stomach. Thus, hunger sets in.

While there are certainly physiological explanations for why cardio can increase hunger, there is also a mental component. It's easy to exaggerate the number of calories burned at the gym. We've just finished an intense workout, and we feel like we need to make up for all the calories we just burned by eating a much larger meal than we actually do. That way of thinking can amplify our actual hunger.


Events occur. Not worrying about an occasional hunger pang Keeping the foregoing in mind, the next time you feel a sudden and unexplained compulsion to eat, grab a bite to eat instead of consulting WebMD. Need some ideas for a snack? Try some of our products and browse through some of our go-to snack ideas.


  1. Blom W.A., A. Lluch, A. Stafleu, et al. Changes in ghrelin levels after eating a high-protein breakfast Medical Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2006;83(2):211-220 doi:10 1093/ajcn/83 2 211
  2. For example: Weigle DS, Breen PA, Matthys CC, et al. Despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations, a high-protein diet causes sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight. International Journal of Obesity 2005;82(1):41-48 doi:10 1093/ajcn 82 1 41
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