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Just ate but still hungry? This might be why

September 28, 2021 4 min read

Just ate but still hungry? This might be why

"Weird, I just ate and yet I'm still hungry." This sentence is a prime example of the basic human contradiction: we should be full but feel like we need more food. What's really going on? Here are some more reasons why you're not full even after a decent meal:

You did not get a good night's rest.


A study showed that when one does not get enough quality sleep, they have elevated ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. When this is elevated, one tends to eat more than even when that person just ate; they could still feel hungry.




To get a good night's rest, you should start by developing a bedtime ritual composed of exercise, healthy food and supplements, and relaxation.


Exercise ensures that your body is tired enough to fall asleep quickly. It reduces stress which also helps with falling asleep. Healthy food ensures that your body is getting the right nutrients throughout the day, making falling asleep easier.


Supplements help with falling back into a deep sleep after waking up in the middle of the night or shift work patterns.


Finally, relaxation practices like meditation ensure you get good quality sleep.

man who can't sleep

You're bored


People eating more when bored is not a myth. It's actually a psychological state called "hedonic hunger." This state occurs when the brain anticipates pleasure, releasing dopamine to activate the appetite.


Many people experience this phenomenon because environmental cues, such as boredom, trigger it. They're often watching television or scrolling through social media feeds for hours on end. Yes, boredom can make you feel hungry and overeat.


Don't believe us? Here's a study that shows how boredom affects your eating habits. Boredom gives you the sense of being "hungry" even when you're not. One other possible explanation why hunger is associated with boredom is that the brain may think that the person needs to eat to keep themselves entertained.



One thing you can do to avoid eating when bored is to find something else to do. You could read a book, watch a movie, or go for a walk.

bored girl

You're on certain medications.


Chemical compounds called neurotransmitters can also affect hunger levels. They are responsible for telling your brain when you should feel hungry or full. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin or dopamine can increase or decrease feelings of hunger respectively, which means that medications like antidepressants may cause weight gain due to decreased levels of this neurotransmitter.


They are known for their influence on a person's appetite. Other appetite stimulant drugs are antihistamine, steroids, and seizure medications.



If it really bothers you, talk to your physician about it.


You're on a restrictive diet


Have you noticed that you get hungrier when you're on a restrictive diet? It's as if the universe is teasing you to eat more. Well, it's not the universe, but ghrelin. The moment you consume lesser calories, this hormone is triggered and gives you a sense of hunger. This is the reason why it's essential to know how many calories one needs for their daily intake and choose a certain diet that is sustainable to your lifestyle.




People often find themselves on a diet and feel the need to overeat. However, this is a common mistake as it can lead to weight gain and set you back on your diet. Here are some tips to avoid overeating and sticking to your diet

1) Keep track of what you eat

2) Stay active

3) Drink water

4) Stay away from temptation

salad on a plate

You're taking in too much sugar or not enough protein.


Did you know that the more sugar you consume, the hungrier you can get? More sugar, specifically fructose, showed an increase in ghrelin levels. It showed a link between high-sugar diets and a person's appetite and eating behaviours.


When your diet is low in protein, it also causes you to feel more hungry since your appetite hormones get stimulated. This showed the exact opposite for people with high-protein diets. In fact, a study showed how 156 obese Chinese adolescents with high-protein diets had a decrease in ghrelin levels and even lost weight.



Eat healthier food and increase your protein intake as it keeps you fuller for longer. A high-fibre diet helps too.

maple syrup on a pancake

You're stressed


It has been shown that stress elevates ghrelin levels as well. When we are stressed, our body is in a state of emergency, which is why it starts pumping out high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones trigger the release of energy from fat stores to provide us with energy for our fight or flight response.


If we do not manage flee at that moment, this natural response has the potential to become a long-term stress response by triggering our hypothalamus. This hormone can then lead to increased appetite and an unhealthy lifestyle in general. The hypothalamus is the anterior region in the brain that regulates many important functions such as eating habits and sleep patterns. When it releases cortisol and adrenaline, these hormones tell our brain that we might starve if we don't eat something; this could make us overeat when we're stressed out.




Stress eating is a bad habit. It can lead you to obesity and other health problems. In order to avoid stress eating, try these tips:


- When you sense the desire to eat, drink a glass of water.

- Eat small portions of food during stressful periods.

- Limit junk food, sugary drinks and alcohol consumption.

- Spend time solving your stressor

- Don't let it linger, or you will continue to want to eat more unhealthy foods.

woman covering face with book

The next time you feel hungry even after eating, recheck these reasons to evaluate yourself. Also, check out our tips on how to stay on track with your diet and training. This can help you curb your appetite, for sure!

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