Living with teens can sometimes feel like living with locusts. If your teen is constantly complaining of being hungry, you might wonder what the cause of this is and whether it's normal. When in doubt, consult your child's doctor to rule out a health issue as the cause of her constant hunger.
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According to HealthyChildren.org, teens might be hungry constantly because of poor eating habits, including skipping meals. Leaving the house in the morning without eating breakfast can cause teens to be hungry all morning, possibly causing overeating later or making your teen snack throughout the day, without ever having a proper meal. These habits can cause your teen to be chronically a little bit hungry.
Teens who use artificial sweeteners might be more hungry in general, according to HealthGuidance.org. When your teen has a diet soda or candy that uses an artificial sweetener, her mouth tastes the sweetness. This tells your teen's body that sugar is on the way into her system. Insulin is then released into the body, allowing sugar in the body to be used. But because artificial sweeteners are not sugar, the expected sugar never arrives and this causes the blood sugar level to dip. This can promote overeating at the next meal.
Teens go through hungry stages when they are experiencing a growth spurt. If your teen suddenly becomes ravenous and seems to be eating nonstop, you might find that you'll be buying larger clothes for your teen in a few months because he might shoot up a couple inches.
How Much Should Teens Eat?
Teens should eat three meals and two snacks each day. If your teen still seems hungry even eating that much, feed her more. Ensure that you keep healthful food in the house and are providing well-rounded meals. If your teen is hungry, a yogurt or a handful of almonds is a better snack than a candy bar.
Stomach Becoming Stretched
Teens might also seem to be hungry all the time if they constantly eat large amounts of food. Eating a lot over an extended period stretches out the stomach, making it take more food to fill and not feel hungry anymore. This can be helped by drinking a large glass of water before meals to fill up or starting each meal with a salad to fill up with healthy fare.