Top 5 Most Common Reasons Your Stomach Feels Empty Even After You Just Ate
Have you ever just eaten a meal and somehow your stomach still feels empty? Or not even two hours later you feel hungry again? Well, you are not alone. Many people from all over the world experience this phenomenon. Though it is a common occurrence for many, it can become a problem if it’s affecting your life in a negative way and can also be an indicator of a more serious health problem.
Hunger is the body’s way of letting you know that you need more nutrients, but if you’re still hungry after eating a meal your body might be trying to tell you something about your health. In this article, we’re going to discuss the five most common reasons you might still be hungry even after you’ve eaten.
You Need to Eat More Protein
If you are eating a lot of processed food, chances are you’re probably not getting enough protein on a daily basis. Proteins are complex molecules that are essentially made up of long-chain amino acids which can be found in every single cell in the body. They are found in your muscles, bones, skin, and even your hair. This means that protein is absolutely crucial for the body to function properly. It is recommended you get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 2.2 pounds.
In addition to this, protein helps you feel fuller than carbs or fat. When creating a meal plan for yourself aim for protein-rich foods like chicken breast, turkey, or lean beef as the focal point of the meal and plan your carbs and fat sources around that. If you’re still struggling to get enough protein each day you can also try supplementing. Protein shakes are a great way to fill in the gaps where you might be lacking in that department. Click here for more helpful content with tips on improving your nutrition.
You are Missing Fiber from Your Diet
Just as previously mentioned, if you’re consuming lots of processed foods, you’re probably not getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps the body regulate sugar molecules or glucose which, in turn, keeps blood sugar in balance and hunger cues in check. You should be consuming between 25-35 grams of fiber every day, but most of us only get around 15 grams instead.
There are two types of fiber that function differently in our bodies, but both are equally important in maintaining good health. They are soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber assists in lowering glucose levels as well as cholesterol and can be found in foods like oatmeal, chia seeds, nuts, and blueberries among others. This type of fiber also dissolves in water and can be consumed in a supplement form as well.
Insoluble fiber assists the body with moving food through the digestive system. It helps to prevent constipation and can be found in foods not limited to whole wheat, quinoa, leafy greens such as kale, seeds, and fruits with edible skins like grapes or apples. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water.
Fiber is super important for proper body function and can help you feel fuller for longer as it takes longer to digest. Once it gets to the lower digestive tract it stimulates the release of hormones that help to suppress appetite. It’s always better to get your fiber from your foods naturally, but if you’re finding this difficult you can try taking a fiber supplement.
You’re Not Eating Enough
Sometimes it’s as simple as not eating enough. We all end up skipping breakfast occasionally whether it be due to waking up late or just not being hungry first thing in the morning. Whatever the case, if you’re not consuming enough calories throughout the day, you’re not going to feel full. Combining this with a small lunch or dinner could be the reason your stomach feels empty even after you just ate.
Likewise, if you’re trying to follow a restrictive diet with a set number of calories it can be difficult to feel fully satiated especially if is a relatively new implementation. Try only cutting back 100 calories for a time until your body gets used to the change. Then slowly decrease your calorie intake again. Small changes will help to fight the hunger pangs.
You Are an Emotional Eater
In this day and age, we have access to copious amounts of food. This has led to a relatively new problem compared to human existence as a whole. That problem is emotional eating. Or eating out of boredom. Many of us who feel hungry after eating is not actually hungry. Rather, we have gotten used to eating out of boredom or have inadvertently been using food to cope with our feelings instead of associating food strictly as a means to survive.
To correct this, you first need to recognize and acknowledge that this is happening in the first place. Then you need to address these emotions and find a more appropriate coping mechanism. If you’re stressed, try going for a quiet walk or practice breathing exercises. Another suggestion would be to try intuitive eating. This means to only eat when you feel hunger cues and while you’re eating chew your food slowly, so your body has time to process the food and tell you when you’re full. It’s a great tool you can use to prevent mindless snacking.
You Are Exercising a Lot
If you’re exercising regularly your metabolism tends to move more quickly, therefore your appetite is going to increase. If you find that you lack energy during your workout, but don’t want to negate your progress by eating too many calories, just increase your caloric intake by 100 calories at a time. This is not going to prevent you from making progress and might actually propel you forward as your body needs the energy to function optimally.
Also, asses the amount of protein and fiber you’re consuming per meal. You might need to increase one or both of these nutrients if you find that you are still hungry after each meal you consume. Both protein and fiber are extremely satiating and will help you feel fuller for longer.
The bottom line is that there are many different reasons you might feel hungry even after you just ate. Be sure to reevaluate your diet and increase your fiber and protein intake if you are lacking in that area. Ask yourself if you really are hungry or if you’re just bored. If your metabolism is increasing because you exercise regularly, it might be time to increase your caloric intake. If you feel like something is not right with your body, it is always prudent to make an appointment with your family doctor to err on the side of caution. Listen to your body and know that you are not alone with this.