I love summer! But, one of the things that drives me crazy about it is that the kitchen is always open. Whether it’s on vacation, or day to day with kids home from school, it can feel like they are constantly eating, which is exhausting and usually leads to us eat more than we need to, too. Not good!
Maybe it bothers me because the kitchen is like my office. Or maybe because I enjoy routine and structure. Typically, I’m a three meals a day kinda gal. Snacks are not my thing. So, when my daughter asks for a snack an hour after dinner, it makes me scratch my head and think, “Are you kidding me? You can not be hungry for real?!?”
Can you relate? Or do you struggle with constant hunger yourself? I’ll get to some of the reasons we feel hungry all the time and what to do about it in a minute. In the meantime, hang out with me as I tell you a powerful but quick story.
A few months ago, before summer even began, I started to notice that it was happening all the time. That my seventeen year old daughter would no sooner finish a meal or snack and be back in the kitchen opening the door to the fridge, perusing the shelves for something else to eat. Sweets were on top of her list. She only eats natural sugars, like stevia, honey or agave, but the cravings for them are just as intense as they are for other sugary treats.
At first, I thought maybe it was just hormonal, but even that is a sign that something is out of balance – to have cravings so intense. In my head, I was thinking “can’t you control your appetite or show some will power?” as if to blame her for being hungry all the time. Of course I didn’t tell her that’s what I was thinking, though at one point I did ask her if she was truly hungry or if perhaps she felt like eating because she was bored.
Based on my instincts, I decided that something just wasn’t right. After talking to a doctor friend of mine, I decided to take her to an endocrinologlist to see if something was going on with her thyroid. Turns out she does not have a thyroid issue, but she is suffering from severe hypogylcemia, low blood sugar. No doubt, it surely helped to have a reason for her behavior and then create a plan for how to treat it.
The moral of the story here is to always trust your instincts, peel back the layers and investigeate what’s behind behavior. It may not always as serious as a health issue, and maybe merely a hidden emotion, but either way it helps to know what’s going on so you can solve the nagging issue.
Here’s a few possible reasons you or your kids may have insatiable hunger:
- Not eating enough protein
- Eating too many processed foods
- Something inside the body is out of balance (hormones, blood sugar, acid/alkaline balance, stomach acid, etc)
- Not getting enough sleep
- Dehydration – not drinking enough water
- The body is starving for nutrients because of the quality or type of foods being eaten. So, it is actually starving for nourishment – thus the hungry feeling even after having a snack, insufficient or unbalanced meal.
Once you’ve ruled out or determined any biochemical reasons for hunger, it is much easier to deal with. Here are seven ways to avoid feeling hungry all the time:
- Set up a structure that works for you with planned times for meals and snacks.
- Stabilize blood sugar with protein at every meal.
- Eat healthy fat along with protein
- Eliminate artificial sweeteners
- Get plenty of fiber, 2 cups per day of fruits vegetables nuts seeds and legumes also
- Only buy what you want to eat, don’t tempt yourself with processed snacks or desserts
- With kids, let them get sugar somewhere else, not at your house. it’s easier to say no when its not an option
What’s your story? Do you struggle to tame your hunger and what works best for you? Leave me a note below