Constant Hunger Or Constantly Hungry?
Are you experiencing constant hunger, or are you constantly hungry? There's a difference. One the one hand you're in the process of possibly starving to death. On the other hand, you're not really experiencing real hunger, you simply feel the need to eat something.
When you think about it, if you have a tendency to over eat, you feel hungry more often then you might if you were to stick to a more sensible diet. Then there are those times when you work hard during the day, doing physical labor or intense exercise. You may become very thirsty, but may not feel hungry at all. If you suffered from constant hunger, in other words were slowly starving, you'd undoubtedly feel hungry. Sometimes then, it's the difference between needing nourishment and simply wanting nourishment.
To avoid confusion, let's just assume that like most people in developed countries, you have an adequate diet. Constant hunger in this case then, is simply wanting food rather than needing it. There are a number of things that can cause this "hunger" for food and we'll briefly look at some of them.
The Hunger Hormone - A disease, disorder, or some other condition in your body, such as pregnancy, can sometimes be at the root of feeling hungry. A chemical or hormone imbalance in your body can cause a craving for food in general or for a specific food in particular since your body senses a deficiency in one or more nutrients. There exists a hormone, called leptin that sometimes plays a role. Not too much is known about leptin or how it is produced, but this hormone is responsible for informing the brain that you aren't hungry. If something is allowed to interfere with the production of this hormone, the brain doesn't get the message, and your brain will signal that you are hungry when you really are not. Sleep deprivation will often cause an imbalance of the leptin hormone. Leptin supplements are available, which when taken, will serve to suppress the appetite, but only for a short time. The problem in your body still exists, and as was noted, is not fully understood.
Sugar Does Not Help - What we eat also can play a role in how hungry we think we are. Sugar is the worst culprit here. It's well known that consumption of sugar is a major cause of weight gain and overeating. Foods containing sugar taste good, and in that sense sugar is addictive, so the more sugar we consume the more often we feel hungry, which is really a craving for more food containing sugar. Craving sugar is a great example of reaching a point of constant hunger, where your body really isn't hungry in the sense that it's lacking in adequate nutrition.
You Are What You Eat - Strange as it may sound, having less fat in our diet can make us hungry, resulting in our eating more, gaining weight, and still feeling a constant hunger. For years, fat has been in the wrong place on the Food Pyramid developed by the Department of Agriculture. Using the Food Pyramid as a guide for nutrition, has resulted in us eating less fat, more grains, and becoming more overweight and hungrier in the process. Only recently has there been a number of serious discussions to the effect that the pyramid should perhaps be turned upside down. Diseases, disorders, or other medical or physiological conditions aside, the main reason we are often experiencing constant hunger may well be due to the food that we eat. There's something to the old saying “you are what you eat”. Eat foods that tend to make you hungry, and you will tend to be hungry.