I am hungry all the time!

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Sometimes you feel like you are hungry all day. But is it really hunger or just the urge to eat? How do you know the difference between the two and better manage your cravings?

Hunger is the result of mild hypoglycemia, which is a drop in blood sugar, also called glucose or blood sugar levels. This is a physiological signal, indicating that all the calories from the previous meal have been burned, and it is time to eat.

Sometimes the feeling of hunger is accompanied by a stomach cramp. It usually occurs at a distance from a meal, or after a physical activity that consumes glucose (cleaning, gardening, sports). If your satiety (absence of hunger) does not last more than 2 to 3 hours, check the balance of your menus. For example, at noon, a main dish is not enough.

Why are some of us always hungry?

Blood sugar levels can be the key to understanding where cravings are prevalent. One link was confirmed by a study published in April 2021 in Nature Metabolism. The researchers collected data on responses to blood sugar and other health markers from 1,070 people after they ate standardized breakfasts and freely chosen meals over a two-week period.

Participants took a fasting glycemic response test (oral glucose tolerance test) to measure how their bodies "process" sugar. At the same time, they had to use glucometers continuously to measure their blood sugar levels throughout the study.

After analyzing the data, the scientific team noted that some people experienced major "sugar drops" 2 to 4 hours after the infamous "blood sugar spike" that occurs after a meal. People affected by this variation had a 9% increase in hunger and waited about half an hour less before their next meal compared to other participants, even with similar meals. These same people also consumed 75 more calories in 3/4 hours after breakfast and about 312 more calories during the day.

However, this type of pattern could lead to a weight gain of around 9 kilograms over a year. "Blood sugar has long been suspected of playing an important role in controlling hunger. We show that crashes in sugar are a better predictor of hunger and subsequent calorie intake than the initial response to spike in blood sugar. blood after eating. It changes the way we think about the relationship between blood sugar and the food we eat, "the researchers explain.

Choose foods that fill you up

The desire to eat does not correspond to any nutritional need, it can happen when we have gotten up from the table, not long ago. It is maintained thanks to the omnipresence of tempting foods: chocolates in the office, sweets from the vending machine, cakes around the corner.

Find other sources of comfort besides food

Eating produces pleasure, particularly sugary foods that induce the release of well-being neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) by the brain. We often want to eat when we are sad, stressed, just tired, or inactive. To avoid succumbing, you can try to better organize your days and engage in activities that are sources of comfort. For example, the regular practice of a sport promotes the production of endorphins, the true hormones of happiness.

Avoid snacking between meals

For your health, avoid snacking between meals. It is true that snacks promote overweight. Increased food intake keeps blood sugar levels high (blood sugar levels rise after eating carbohydrate foods) and also stimulates the production of insulin, the hormone involved in fat storage.

Eating all day interrupts the alternation of hunger and satiety, thus losing a natural regulatory system. And then we rarely want to nibble on a carrot or lentils.

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