One of the main reasons we tend to overeat is because we can’t satisfy our hunger and/or minimize our appetite throughout the day. In this article, I want to go over a few things that can affect your appetite and cause you to be in a caloric surplus by the end of the day. Once you get these factors under control, you may find it easier to maintain a healthy and manageable weight as well as lose weight and body fat.
Factors That Affect Your Appetite and Hunger
Stress is something we all deal with on a daily basis from what seems like every which direction and is a major factor that can affect your appetite. When stressed, there is a release of ghrelin into the system. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone and when activated can bring on hunger.
If you want to minimize your hunger, a great way to do so is by drinking water before meals. Water will help fill up your stomach and send a signal to your brain that it is filling up. Therefore, it will help regulate how much food you consume until you reach satiety and can help prevent overeating.
If you’ve ever burned the midnight oil and only got a couple of hours of sleep at night, more than likely the next day you experienced a bottomless pit of a stomach. It may seem like you’re never full and seem to eat all day long. Not getting enough sleep causes imbalances of hormones, specifically ghrelin and leptin, and when leptin hormones decrease you seem to never become satiated.
4. Social Interactions
Have you ever noticed in social situations that you nibble on foods and snacks? Social interactions are actually an area that contributes heavily to the overconsumption of calories because no one is really counting or watching what they are picking at. So, while social interactions don’t truly affect your hunger per se, it does in a sense that many people feel influenced to consume food that is accessible and being eaten by others around them.
Despite what you may think, the food you eat can actually affect your hunger. If you fill up on fibrous foods, you will find yourself more satiated than consuming foods that don’t contain fiber. Also, consuming fats helps to slow down the rate of digestion which additionally provides the benefit of helping you feel full longer. Obviously, the type of fat you consume will dictate things but that along with even the addition of protein can allow you to feel satiated so you don’t overeat.
6. Blood Glucose Levels
Things like sugar can also affect your hunger. When you consume sugar, the glucose is shuttled into the cells to be used as an energy source and that shift triggers the desire for more food since blood sugar levels can drop. As your body realizes your blood glucose levels decreasing, it will send a signal to your brain that you need to eat.
Leptin is a hormone that helps reduce hunger and appetite. When these hormone levels are decreased due to a myriad of reasons, it can negatively affect your hunger and appetite. Once leptin levels rise, you will start to feel full and the urge to want to eat something will subside.
It should go without saying but if you are extremely active (or exercise regularly), that can cause hunger. Your body runs like a well-oiled machine and when energy is burned and you use up what has been stored, your body will want to replenish what was lost by increasing your appetite in an effort to refuel the body – specifically the liver and muscle glycogen.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published numerous books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com or on social media @weikfitness.