17th April 2023

Why Am I Always Hungry?

Hunger is your body’s natural cue that it needs more food. It’s essential to be able to tell you that you need more nutrients. 

The signs of hunger include feeling empty, a ‘growling’ stomach, irritability (otherwise known as being ‘hangry’), headaches or difficulty concentrating. 

Though it is a healthy cue to tell your body it needs food, feeling hungry too often can lead to overeating, snacking, and unnecessary discomfort. There are many factors that may lead you to ask yourself ‘why am I always hungry?’ So, here are 5  reasons you may be experiencing excessive hunger, and what to do about it: 

Why am I always hungry?

You’re not getting the right nutrients

Although you may feel you’re eating enough, if you aren’t getting the right nutrients you may feel more hungry after or between meals.

If you are eating too many refined carbs, and your diet is low in protein, fat, or fibre you may feel hungry more frequently as your body is craving what it really needs. This is why a Mediterranean-style diet is what we recommend, and is at the core of The Fast 800 Online Programme. Adding plenty of non-starchy vegetables to every meal will also help you to feel full and satisfied as they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals (we recommend filling half your plate with nutritious vegetables – as they’re so low in calories, there’s no need to count them in your day). 

Our Online Programme can help ensure you’re getting the right nutrients to stay satiated between each meal, with delicious recipes and meal plans based on your recommended approach, to help prevent cravings throughout the day.

You’re not sleeping enough

Not getting enough sleep causes fluctuations in your appetite control. If you want to lose weight or get a handle on how often you feel hungry, start by looking at your sleep. 

Two hormones impacted by sleep, leptin and ghrelin, work together to manage appetite. When sleep-deprived, leptin (a hormone that naturally reduces appetite) falls, while ghrelin (a hunger promoter) rises.[1]

Not only does sleep deprivation make you hungrier, but it also makes you crave worse food as it lowers your inhibitions, causing it to be more difficult to resist unhealthy food.[2] The nature of junk food also makes you more hungry, creating an endless cycle; it’s best to break it with a regular good night’s sleep.

You’re dehydrated

Sometimes, when you’re not drinking enough water, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. If you’re feeling a little peckish but have recently eaten, have a glass of water and reassess your own hunger levels. Not only can dehydration lead to hunger throughout the day, but it can also lead to eating more at mealtimes. A study of 14 people who drank 2 cups of water before a meal found that they ate 600 fewer calories than those who didn’t.[3]

Lastly, drinking alcohol famously dehydrates you, which not only causes those horrid head-aching hangovers, but is also known for its appetite-stimulating effects.[4] 

You’re not eating mindfully

How many times have you raced through lunch while working, or eaten dinner in front of the TV, only to realise you’ve finished and you hadn’t even really processed the fact that you’d eaten it? Even if you consume a healthy, well-balanced meal with the right nutrients in it, if you’re distracted, your brain won’t have processed the meal in the same way.

According to a 2018 study, there is a link between the reduction of food cravings and the practice of mindful eating.[5] Using your senses to enjoy your food through sight, smell, texture and even sound can ensure you eat with your mind and your body, and will be less likely to feel hungry after a decent meal. 

You’re eating too quickly

In one study involving 30 women, fast eaters consumed 10% more calories during a meal and reported significantly less fullness, compared with slow eaters.[6] The study ultimately found that eating slowly may help to maximise satiation after meals.

To summarise

If you need to tame your appetite, try starting with ensuring you’re getting good sleep, eating nutritious foods, and eating mindfully at a steady pace. If you’ve tried all that and you’re still struggling with excessive feelings of hunger, consult your doctor as there may be an underlying issue.

At The Fast 800, we’re passionate about ensuring everyone can have a satisfying and satiating diet. There’s really no need to feel hungry all the time, especially when eating healthy foods. Interested in starting your own journey? Find out more!


Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062. Epub 2004 Dec 7. PMID: 15602591; PMCID: PMC535701.

Hanlon, E., et al., 2022. Sleep Restriction Enhances the Daily Rhythm of Circulating Levels of Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol. Accessed: National Library of Medicine

Corney RA, Sunderland C, James LJ. Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Mar;55(2):815-819. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-0903-4. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PMID: 25893719.

Yeomans MR. Alcohol, appetite and energy balance: is alcohol intake a risk factor for obesity? Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 26;100(1):82-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20096714.

Dunn, C., et al. 2018, Mindfulness Approaches and Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Weight Gain.Accessed: National Library of Medicine

Andrade AM, Greene GW, Melanson KJ. Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.026. PMID: 18589027.

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