It’s not lunch time, it’s not even close. And yet, the only thing you can think about is the next time you’re going to eat and what it’s going to be.
It is all you can do to not bring to your mouth whatever is at your fingertips. What’s going on?
It turns out that our brains and bodies often conspire to fool us and think it’s time to eat, when in fact it is not .
Here you will find 9 deceitful reasons to be hungry.
1. You did not sleep enough the night before
Have you noticed your stomach growling in the days the alarm sounded long before you were ready to face the morning?
This is due to lack of sleep, which has been linked to higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for triggering hunger .
And, to make matters worse, when you are deprived of sleep, you usually crave carbohydrates and calorie-laden foods, as your body searches for alternative sources of energy.
2. You ate too much yesterday
Science does not have an exact explanation to this sensation. However, it can not be denied that the occasional feeling of going to bed full and waking up more hungry than ever is very common.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not that your stomach actually expands, it is probably more a consequence of the type of food we have eaten at dinner .
If you exaggerated on starches the night before, this could have triggered the dramatic changes in blood sugar that fool the brain into thinking you’re not full yet.
3. You are in the premenstrual stage
Many women know that this is intuitively true, but there is no solid evidence to support those binge-eating premenstrual syndrome.
During the premenstrual phase, there is an increase in progesterone production. This seems to increase not only the appetite, but also the general dissatisfaction with your body , as if it were not emotional enough.
Interestingly, the animals also follow a premenstrual pattern of similar overfeeding.
4. You could have consumed a better breakfast
The most important meal of the day is also one of those in which it is easier to make mistakes, and is that eating badly at breakfast can undo a whole day.
A cereal bar or a piece of fruit, no doubt, are a quick and easy option for mornings to run out the door. However, consuming 300 to 400 calories is much better to keep you satisfied until lunch .
5. You take certain medications
Medications can stimulate your appetite . In the last 20 years, the number of drugs that have a side effect has increased from one in ten to one in four. In some cases, as soon as the treatment is completed, your appetite will return to normal.
However, for chronic conditions that require lifelong medication, it is convenient to discuss the medication options with your doctor. It could be a similar drug with fewer side effects.
6. You have the habit of consuming diet sodas
A sweet, calorie-free drink sends a message to the brain that calories are on the way.
The taste of diet soda alone can cause the brain to send some hunger pangs to compensate for that feeling .
More research is still needed to help us fully understand this trick but, in the meantime, it is probably a good idea to cut or at least reduce the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages.
7. Actually you’re just thirsty
A little dehydration can give you a feeling of fatigue and, just like when you are deprived of sleep, the body often feels that it needs calories as fuel.
To help distinguish hunger from thirst, imagine eating a hearty meal: if it does not sound appealing, consume a little water instead.
8. You’re bored
Much of what we do in life is driven by dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain related to motivation, encouragement and reward. On a biological level, dopamine makes us feel good about eating, so we do not forget to do it.
Thus, when nothing interesting happens to us, the brain looks for the way to trigger the neurons of dopamine to save us from boredom, looking for some emotions and food is one of them.
If that’s what happens to you, it’s best to get distracted: Enjoy a good book, listen to your favorite music, meditate or exercise, etc.
9. You are stressed
Our response to natural stress is technically an evolutionary tactic to help us avoid becoming someone else’s dinner.
In the face of stress, the body feels that it needs to stock up on fuel , since it thinks that it has had to fight hard, so it activates a couple of brain systems to increase the appetite.
Thus, cravings tend to focus on the more fatty and sugary foods.