Most everyone likes the satisfying feeling of satiety, or feeling “full,” following a meal. For some individuals this feeling is fleeting, leading to the feeling of being hungry all the time as well as a feeling of marked nausea when not eating. While certainly unpleasant, there are ways to address the situation.
Most of the modern world puts people on a timed schedule when it comes to mealtime, setting the “rule” at three square meals a day. Over time, the brain learns that food only comes at certain times, whereas biologically your body may be bucking this internal clock and may need calories at that instant. This is especially true for those with high metabolisms. According to Dr. Michelle May, the key in overcoming this learned hunger response is to pay close attention to when you actually feel hunger pangs. When they happen, have a light snack to tide you over and perhaps change your mealtimes to earlier or later.
Change Your Diet
Plenty has been said about the dangers of fast food, from being linked to obesity to certain types of digestive caners. In relation to constant feelings of hunger and the accompanying nausea, it’s the preparation of the food that holds the key. When blood sugar levels drop, the body triggers hunger pangs. Processed fast food and many “heat and eat” microwave meals cause an increase in insulin production, which the body uses up rather quickly, which in turn causes the pancreas – the body’s insulin maker – to make more insulin. This leads to spikes in insulin production that are misinterpreted as hunger pangs, making the individual feel hunger with much more regularity. The antidote is simple: Cook your own meals, using only the freshest, non-processed ingredients you can manage.
Get Enough Calories
For those with high metabolisms, chances are not enough calories are being ingested, which in turn triggers the body to want more food. This is doubly so for highly active persons who engage in long bouts of regular exercise, like cyclists or marathoners. The average healthy adult needs about 2,000 calories; the more active the person, the more calories needed. Pay attention to what you’re eating and counting calories, and perhaps adding an additional 500 calories daily. Remember to also eat a small amount of healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, fatty fish or avocados since fat triggers feelings of fullness.
Check With Your Doctor
In some cases a more serious underlying medical condition may be the culprit, chiefly diabetes, which has two distinctions, type 1 or type 2. The first type is genetically inherited, so some persons may not be aware of their family health history. Type 2 is a condition that can be avoided if the person eats responsibly and maintains a healthy body weight, but once it has been diagnosed, there is no cure. The key for either type is to order a simple blood test from your doctor, who will be able to correctly diagnose diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions and prescribe exercise, proper diet and insulin if the condition is serious enough.
- Am I Hungry: Avoiding Overeating
- "Nutrition: Concepts & Controversies"; Frances Sizer Webb, Ellie Whitney & Frances Sienkiewicz; 2008