Why You’re Still Hungry After Eating a Meal

Are you almost always hungry after a meal? Find out five reasons why this may be and what you can do about it.

Are you hungry after eating – even if you’ve just enjoyed a full meal? This is a common problem many people have – especially those who are trying to lose a few pounds. For some, the problem stems from restricting calories too much – and the solution may be to ease up and eat a little more food. Here are some other reasons you may feel hungry after eating.

You’re Eating Too Fast

If you’re always hungry after a meal, set a stopwatch the next time you eat and see how long it takes for you to finish. You may be eating so fast that you’re not giving your satiety hormones time to kick in – which usually takes around twenty minutes. One study showed that men who ate ice cream rapidly didn’t have the same rise in appetite subduing hormones as those who ate more slowly. Learn to pace yourself. Stop and set your fork down frequently and savor every mouthful. You’ll get less indigestion this way too.

You’re Not Eating Enough Protein and Fiber

If you’re hungry after eating, it could be because you’re not eating enough protein and fiber with your meals. Protein and high fiber foods cause greater production of appetite suppressing hormones that curb the desire to eat. Adding a little more good fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) to your meal helps too. Fat causes secretion of CCK by the intestines which is a strong appetite suppressant. Add a few pine nuts to your salad. Pine nuts are a good source of pinolenic acid which is particularly effective for boosting CCK production.

You’re Not Eating Breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you don’t eat it, you could end up eating more later – and feeling hungry after meals. Start the day with a high fiber breakfast with a good source of protein – such as oatmeal and eggs.

Your Meals Are Too Low in Volume

If you’re always hungry after a meal, try eating more foods such as broth based soup, salad greens, and vegetables that have a high water content. These foods are low in calories, but filling – which is what you’re looking for to avoid being hungry after eating. Try finishing off the meal with a cup of green tea which helps to satiate appetite in many people.

You Have an Undiagnosed Medical Problem

Some medical problems such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes, and pregnancy – and certain types of medications, particularly oral steroids, will cause you to feel hungry – even after a meal. If feeling hungry after eating is a new symptom, see your doctor for a thorough check-up.

The Bottom Line?

Feeling hungry after eating is usually related to diet and eating habits. It can also be a reaction to stress or even boredom. Try keeping a food diary and see if you can associate being hungry with other events in your life.  You could make some discoveries that will help you better control your eating habits.


Dr. Weil blog. “Eating Too Fast?”

Science Daily website. “Increased Fiber Curbs Appetite In Women”

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