I’m hungry all the time, what can I do?
– Charlotte S.
As opposed to a specific craving or passing desire, true hunger is uncomfortable and is a strong message for our bodies to seek food. If you experience hunger throughout the day, it may be that you are not consuming enough calories. The easy answer is to eat more food.
If you have been maintaining weight or wish to lose, then modifying your diet to include satisfying foods at regular mealtimes may drive down hunger:
When to Eat
Your body uses energy throughout the day, so you need to fuel it regularly. Having consistent meals and snacks ensures that your fuel tank doesn’t go empty. Most people eat too little in the morning and consume the bulk of their calories in the evening when they’re less active. By having a substantial breakfast, medium lunch and smaller dinner, you’d better match your body’s energy use. A small snack to support your workout is also ideal.
What to Eat
Foods high in fiber, protein, fat and physical volume are the most satisfying. For example, a slice of 7-grain toast with almond butter, half a grapefruit, an egg, and a glass of milk would stave off hunger better than two toaster waffles with syrup, a cup of orange juice and mug of coffee. Including a healthy plant fat at each meal helps to lock in the complex carbohydrates and lean proteins eaten so they are digested more slowly. Vegetables are the most notable source of bulk and fiber with the least calories so they should fill up your plate!
Consult a physician if hunger is unabated, you’re also experiencing weakness or observe unintentional weight loss, as these may be due to an underlying medical condition.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.