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Why Am I Always Hungry? Here’s why you’re Always Feeling Hungry

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Why am I always hungry? Why do I feel hungry all the time? Why do I eat too much?

If these are some of the questions on your mind regarding your appetite, then there may be an explanation for this behavior

In this article, we’ll list out  possible reasons for your excessive eating. We’ll also include things you can do to curb this behavior. Read on!

Why Am I Always Hungry?

First, hunger isn’t even close to being a bad thing. In fact, it is an essential human drive and without it, we simply cannot thrive. For one, food helps our brain function optimally and it is also essential for muscle building and quick recovery from physical activities and ailments.

So, hunger isn’t a bad thing at all.  But what if you’re always hungry for no apparent reason at all? What could be the cause of your persistent hunger?

Why Do I Feel Hungry All the Time?

Your hunger drive is supposed to go away after each meal, at least temporarily.  If you do not feel full after a meal or always want to continue eating after one or two servings, then there could be an underlying issue.

Thankfully, excessive eating can be managed or reduced by making certain dietary or lifestyle changes. But, if after you make these changes and nothing seems to help, then you book an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can.

Below are some of the possible reasons you may be feeling hungry every time.

Dehydration

Adequate hydration is essential for well-being. If you feel hungry every time, you may be lacking in this aspect.  Water can help you feel fuller after a meal besides aiding digestion.

In one study, researchers investigated the effect of water intake on overweight women.  Participants in the study drank 0.5 liters of water 30 minutes before they ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. At the end of the 8th week, the women had lost weight and had reduced appetite.

Diabetes

If you’re always hungry, it may be a symptom of type 2 diabetes. This disorder can cause glucose to remain in the blood instead of entering the cells. Left untreated, you’ll have little or no glucose to generate energy for your body and this could cause you to feel tired and hungry more often.

You may also experience the following symptoms with type 2 diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Vision problems
  • Increased thirst from urinating frequently
  • Drastic or gradual unexplained weight loss
  • Poor wound healing by your body

If you have type 2 diabetes or you suspect you have it, see a doctor for evaluation. He will check for diabetes with a simple blood test and place you on medications if diagnosed with the condition. He may also recommend certain lifestyle and dietary changes.

 

If you’ve diagnosed with diabetes already, you may be managing it poorly.  You should see your doctor for the next step if you feel your current treatment isn’t doing much to help.

Boredom

Are you frequently bored? If you are, it may be the reason you overeat. Boredom can cause you to seek rewarding behaviors and this can include eating.

Find a way to keep busy to avoid boredom. You can take a trip to the park, walk around your neighborhood, workout or anything to keep your mind and mouth away from food.

Salt

If you consume a lot of salt, it could be the reason you constantly feel hungry. High salt intake may in the short term cause you to drink more water but with time, it can cause you to drink less water and eat more according to research.

In one study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, participants placed on a high salt diet were reportedly hungrier than before. This is because salt causes the body to conserve water by producing urea, a process that requires a lot of calories. This increases your appetite causing you to feel hungry all the time.

If you eat a lot of processed foods, you should consider cutting down on it. Processed foods contain hidden sodium that could cause the aforementioned effect. So, opt instead for fresh food most of the time.

Too Far Apart Mealtimes

What is the space between each of your meals? Is it too far apart? If it is, it could be the reason you always feel hungry.  Constantly staying hungry for long may cause your body to send signals reminding you to feed it.

If you eat too far apart or you’re not sure if your spacing is alright for you, you should consult a dietician. He or she would be able to evaluate how often your body requires fuel (food) considering your level of activity and meal schedule.

Or you can experiment on your own to see how full you feel with smaller meals spread out few hours apart without overeating.

Medications

Some medications you take can affect your hunger signals and body metabolism. For example, some antipsychotics and antidepressant may cause people on them to feel hungrier than they normal.

If you noticed you feel hungrier or gained more weight on a new medication, you should let your doctor know. He or she may either recommend some things you can do to cope or change the medication entirely.

Your Protein Intake Is Inadequate

Protein is essential for satiety. If you continuously feel hungry, you may not be getting enough protein. Ensure you’re getting the right amount of protein for your weight and lifestyle and try to include some protein in most of your meals.

There are delicious protein-rich foods, snacks and even raw veggies that you can include in your meals to help you feel fuller.

On A Diet

Are you currently on a diet or usually on one diet or the other? It may be the answer to the question “why am I always hungry”.

This is particularly true if you’re on some calorie-restricted diet. It can cause you to feel hungry all or most of the time because you’re consuming fewer calories than your body burns.

Poor Sleep/Sleep Disruption

Insufficient or poor sleep can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance, thus elevating the feeling of hunger in some cases.

In some studies, sleep disruption has been linked to an array of health problems including diabetes and obesity.

Overactive Thyroid/hyperthyroidism

If your thyroid is underactive, it can lead to weight gain. Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism is its exact opposite. You may notice increased hunger levels if you suffer from this condition. Other symptoms you may notice include:

  • Sweating
  • Hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Change in menstrual pattern

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should talk to a doctor.

You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Many foods and beverages contain a lot of sugar. And this can cause appetite increase and weight gain. Eating too much sugar may cause your body to produce more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and also affect activities in certain areas of the brain to make you feel less full.

Stress

In some studies, appetite control issues were linked to stress. In one of the studies, people dealing with high-stress marital issues had significantly higher levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone and a poorer diet compared to those in happy or stable marriages.

Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcoholic beverages may cause you to feel hungrier than normal.  According to research, the link between alcohol intake and excessive eating may due to alcohol’s effect on hunger signals in the brain.

In another study, women consuming alcohol before a meal had heightened sensitivity to food aromas and this caused them to eat more.

Menopause

For females going through menopause, the hormonal changes may be the reason you feel hungry all the time. Menopause may also cause an increase in your weight. In one 2017 study, a decline in estrogen levels during menopause was shown to lead to an increase in appetite.

You should speak to your doctor if you believe your excessive eating may be linked to menopause.

Too Little Fiber

Having less fiber than you require can cause you to feel hungry all the time. Fibers are naturally filling just like protein, so you may feel hungrier if you don’t get enough of it.

Ensure you include fresh veggies, fruits, and whole-grain in your diet as they contain the fibers you need.

You’re suffering from Anxiety/Worrying Too Much

Do you worry a lot? If you do, it may be responsible for your excessive eating. Stress elevates your cortisol levels triggering hunger.

You can manage stress or anxiety induced overeating by meditating or practicing yoga. These activities can help you relax and also sleep better.

Leptin Resistance

The hormone leptin rises when your stomach is full. If you suffer from leptin resistance, your body does not fully respond to leptin. This can mean that even after a full meal, you will still feel hungry.

It is therefore not very surprising that people with insulin resistance become overweight or obese, and may even feel hungrier than before their weight gain.

Breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding, you require more calories for milk production.  This high-calorie requirement can cause an increase in appetite and make you feel hungry frequently. Breastfeeding women are advised to consume 450 to 500 extra calories per day.

Final Words

Overeating can be a result of several factors. All or most of which can be managed with simple lifestyle changes, meal adjustments, exercises, and medical treatments.

Other general steps you can take to curb overeating include:

  • Reducing your sugar and salt/sodium consumption
  • Drinking enough water
  • Reducing your alcohol consumption
  • Eating more protein and fiber to stay full for longer

“Why do I eat too much”? Tell us, what do you suspect may be the cause of your overeating? Why do you think you’re eating too much?

If you suspect your overeating may have serious underlying causes, you should seek professional help from your doctor. Don’t spend too much time contemplating or trying to resolve health issues on your own.

Questions/thoughts? Share in the comment section below.

Dawn is a health and fitness enthusiast, a massage therapist and she also loves to write!

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Prevent Food Wastage: Tips For Preserving Leftovers, Why You Should Eat Your Leftovers And Mistakes To Avoid

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Yearly, billions of pounds of leftovers are discarded in just the U.S alone. While a huge chunk of this number is food that never makes it to our tables, a considerable amount of this food goes to waste from our kitchens.

Some people do not eat leftovers! And while some others would eat leftovers, it is only on the condition that they taste great when reheated or else, they are thrown out.

Unfortunately, not many know how to make leftovers taste great so they end up throwing them out. How wrong! Food is expensive and there is so much you can do with leftovers!

In this post, I’ll share some of the ways you can make the most of your leftovers, tips for using leftovers, how to preserve leftovers and some common mistakes to avoid with leftovers.  Read on!

                                  Tips For Using Leftovers

Establish A Leftovers Night Or Day

If you haven’t already, then start today. Establish a weekly leftovers night or even day. I mean, you just can’t let them go to waste. And even though consuming leftovers are not your thing, you’ll be wasting a lot of money by letting these foods go to waste. Do better; set aside a particular day each week for leftover consumption and let your family in on your plans. Again, depending on your relationship with leftovers, they may not be very inclined to join in but all that can change once you know how to prepare your leftovers.

Reheat Your Leftovers The Right Way

Depending on how long it’s been kept, your leftover can become stale. Thankfully, this can be corrected with the right reheating method. So now you don’t have to toss a meal in the thrash anymore because it has gotten bland or no longer taste as good as the first day. What you should do is re-spice, re-season, or do just about anything to bring back or even enhance the taste. Work your magic here, get creative and you’ll notice the flavor return to your food.

However, when reheating leftovers, spices and seasonings alone won’t do as most leftovers tend to dry out a little. You should add some moisture in the form of butter, sauce, sour cream, and then topped off with some cheese. You enjoy two benefits by doing this; improved texture and a better-tasting meal.

That said; note that any day can be a leftover day. You can always defrost and heat your leftovers whenever you feel like it, you do not have to wait until the leftover day.

First Foods First

With this method, you can identify the foods that need to be consumed first. And this is something you really should take seriously if you live in a household with children or have flatmates.

You can place these foods in an area of the fridge reserved exclusively for leftovers or have the meals labeled with “eat-me” first stickers. Now, everyone in the house knows where to pick food from when hungry.

Mix And Match Meals

Because leftovers are usually an assortment of food, one sure way to consume them is by mixing them up. Again, this would require re-spicing, re-seasoning and some level of creativity. Even when you have only one meal type available, you can always bulk it up by using regulars such as eggs, bread or wraps or veggies.

Make Your Leftovers Into Something New

Experiment! Get creative with the meals. Make your leftovers into something new. If you have plenty of plain white rice, you can make some fried rice with it or enjoy it with some tomato sauce or soup.

You can make your leftover chicken into chicken salad sandwiches and the enchiladas into a taco salad. Just do anything as long as the outcome is edible. You should be able to envision the meal’s outcome before starting and if it makes sense, then go for it.

Preserving Leftovers

Your leftovers will keep in a refrigerator for only a short time. If you’re not certain of consuming it within a day or two, you should freeze the meal.

Almost every meal can be frozen and defrosted later. This not only helps to ensure that you don’t waste food but also ensures that you have a supply of meals on days when you need to whip up something quickly for lunch or dinner. All you need are containers/Tupperware or sandwich-sized Ziploc bags. They are stackable and easy to defrost when needed.

Other effective ways for storing leftovers in the freezer include:

Pyrex bowls

Pyrex bowls are long-lasting and will hardly ever get scratches or stains even after multiple uses. However, opt for the ones with lids to keep your food covered in the fridge and after you take them out. Another reason you may want to opt for Pyrex bowls is that they are microwave safe. This means they can go from the fridge to the microwave with no hassle.

Mason jars

Using mason jars is another effective way to store your leftovers. However, using them can be tricky as they can shatter when contents expand in the freezer. You can prevent this by leaving some space at the top of the jars and freeze them with their lids off. Once frozen and fully expanded, you can replace the lids.

Freezer wraps

These include foil, waxed paper, and plastic. You can store chunks of leftovers such as large cuts of meat and bread in them.  They are compact, nice and so you get to fully utilize your freezer space.

Why You Should Consume Your Leftovers

You may already know why you should always consume your leftovers, but as a refresher, I’ll outline these reasons and more below. So, the next time you think about tossing that bowl of rice, you’ll have more than a few reasons not to.

Leftovers Save You Money

You work hard for your money, and while there are fancier things to spend it on, food is one essential that you never leave out. You spend good money on food! And of course, lots of time preparing it.

Now, think about it; you spent all that time and money shopping and standing in the kitchen prepping these meals only to have them go to waste. By eating leftovers, you keep the waste at bay and keep your food budget reasonable.

You Reduce Food Wastage

By choosing to include leftovers in your meal plan, you play your part in reducing global food wastage. You become part of the solution and also help yourself save money you’d have thrown away – yes; food wastage is the same thing as throwing money away.

Some Foods Taste Better As Leftovers

Soups, sauces and even casseroles are just a few of the foods that taste better with time. This is simply because their flavors have had enough time to blend well.

You should try it; make two meals at once; one that you consume today and the second for tomorrow, then refrigerate and reheat the second for tomorrow or the day after. You’ll notice it taste better than you’re used to.

It Saves You Time

Instead of starting all over with prepping a new meal, putting leftovers to use will save you valuable time.  You spend only minutes prepping and reheating leftovers instead of the hours you’d have spent on a new meal. Plus, your kitchen is cleaner and safer as cleanup is easier and quicker.

Making Use Of Leftovers: Before You Eat A Leftover

Before consuming any leftover, you want to make sure that it is safe. And this, of course, depends on how the meal is stored.

Before storing away leftovers, make sure you allow them cool, then cover and place neatly in the fridge within three hours of cooking. And while frozen foods will keep longer, you should consume foods you place in the refrigerator within two days. Depending on the food type, you can either consume them cold or heat until very hot.

Also, note that not all meals do well as leftovers. Leafy salads and pastries are best eaten fresh. For salads, then don’t dress it if you think that you might not finish it. You can always enjoy the crisp leftover salad without the dressing the next day.

Making Use Of Leftovers: Conclusion

Have you been tossing out your leftovers? Well, now you know better. Take out that Tupperware containing yesterday’s leftover, let your creativity soar, reheat and enjoy! Remember, your money doesn’t come easy, or does it? Even if it did, you don’t want it going to waste, do you?  Of course not! Now, go enjoy some leftovers!

 

Thoughts, questions, or tips on using leftovers? Share in the comment section below!

 

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How To Make Almond Chocolate Milk At Home

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If you’ve tried making your homemade almond milk, you’ll agree that the quality of your product beats most store-bought varieties hands down.

Yes, buying ready-made products can seem more convenient but if you follow the making instructions, the time and effort you spend making yours are always worth it.  Plus, homemade products are often free of the many additives commonly present in many commercially-produced foods, and you also get to tell exactly what goes into your food.

It’s the same with making almond chocolate milk. You know exactly what goes into your food and what to avoid or include.

Homemade almond chocolate milk is a safe and healthy alternative to the store-bought varieties that are usually filled with thickeners, preservatives, sugars and other artificial taste enhancers even with the often ridiculously high price tags pegged on them.

Homemade Almond Chocolate Milk: Ingredients Needed

  • 3 cups of raw almonds
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of pure dark chocolate
  • Optional: 6 dry dates (seeds removed), 3 tbsp vanilla bean paste

Homemade Almond Chocolate Milk: Making Instructions

First, soak the almond nuts in water for either a few hours, overnight, or for a few days. Ensure that the almonds are covered with enough water.

When soaked, drain and rinse under running water.

Scoop the soaked almonds into your blender or food processor, add the date nuts, water and cover the lid. Blend until smooth. A thicker or thinner consistency may require less or more water, so check after blending to see if you like the consistency of the mixture. You may need to blend the almonds and dates in batches but this depends on the size of your blender or food processor.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth or a nut milk bag after blending to strain into a clean already prepared bowl. With your hand, firmly twist the bag to extract as much liquid as possible from the pulp.

Once strained, you can set aside the leftover pulp for dehydration and for use later in baking or added to cereals or porridges.

Place the chocolate into a separate bowl and melt over a large bowl of water placed over a saucepan containing water. You can also melt in a microwave if more convenient.

When it melts, fetch some almond milk; add to the chocolate bowl, then mix to combine well. This is so your chocolate milk mixes easily with the rest of the milk.

Once well-combined, add the chocolate mixture to your bowl of almond milk and mix. At this point, you can add any other sweetener of your choice or even more cocoa powder for extra chocolate.

Pour the mixture into a glass jar or bottle for storage in the refrigerator. It can keep for up to five days. Before you serve each time, make sure you shake properly. If you’re freezing for long, use only tempered glasses or BPA-free containers.

 

Did you try the chocolate almond milk? How did you like it? Tell us in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to check the article on making homemade almond milk and other homemade recipes.

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How To Make Almond Milk At Home

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Don’t we all just love the convenience of store-bought varieties of our favorite food products?

Truth is, while the convenience of buying already made food products/ingredients is almost incomparable, oftentimes, it also means that we lose out on the quality that only the original can offer.

With homemade products, you actually know what goes into the product, the making process and you are able to control the taste to a large extent. What’s more? The satisfaction of creating and seeing your own finished work is second to none!

*enters almond milk*

Fast-becoming a number one go-to plant-based milk, almond milk is a favorite in many vegan/plant-based cooking and cooking recipes.

It is healthy, tasty, and requires minimal processing.  It is also one of the many non-dairy milk types that both adults and children can enjoy.

Making almond milk is not only an incredibly interesting process, but it is also a very old practice.  Several cultures have made almond milk way before the French reinvented it in form of blancmanges.

The almond milk making process simply involves leaving almonds soaked overnight in water for a few hours or a day or two. Now, depending on how creamy you want your milk, you may have to soak for even longer or shorter.  Simply rinse the seeds from the soaking water and blend/grind in fresh, clean water. The liquid you have after draining the blended almonds and water is your, fresh and tasty almond milk.

Of course, you can add some twists and bends to the process for extra sweetness or to make the delicious almond chocolate milk.

Making Homemade Almond Milk Without Carrageenan

If you like keeping your foods as addictive-free as possible, homemade almond milk gives you the liberty to do so.

One of the things many almond milk aficionados love about this plant-based milk is how it can be made without preservatives or additives like carrageenan. While carrageenan (derived from seaweed) is commonly used for thickening and emulsifying many commercially-produced food products, it can be inflammatory to the body.

It is best to make almond milk and other plant-based milk at home instead of consuming store-bought products. This way, you’ll be certain that it is completely free of additives and fillers.

Health Benefits Of Almond Milk

What are the health benefits of drinking almond milk? There are several reasons you should consume almond milk and some of these reasons are listed below.

  • Almond milk is non-dairy and so, it is free of lactose or casein. The two have been known to cause digestive issues in humans.
  • Just 1 cup of homemade almond milk provides you with up to 6 grams of protein!
  • In just one cup of homemade almond milk, you get up to 8% of your recommended daily calcium intake and 6% of your daily calcium need!
  • And finally, it is tasty! Not a health benefit alright but it still had to be mentioned for emphasis even though you already know : )

Before You Make Homemade Almond Milk: Things To Know

  • True, it would be more convenient if we could make several batches and store in the refrigerator, but we can’t.
  • Almond milk will only keep fresh for a few days and unless you intend pasteurizing it, (somehow defeats the whole idea behind making it at home) make only the quantity you need for a few days. You can always make another batch later, it takes just minutes to grind and strain after soaking.
  • When making almond milk, you can start with 1 cup of almonds to 2 cups of water. Increase or reduce or increase the quantity of water to thicken or lighten in subsequent batches if you want.
  • Almond milk can be made in a food processor or a blender. There is very little difference between the two but you can start with a blender then use a food processor the next time to see which you prefer the most.

How To Make Homemade Almond Milk

Again, one of the reasons homemade almond milk is better than the store-bought ones is that you get to tell exactly what gets into your milk. With homemade almond milk, you are certain that there are no sweeteners or fillers added to it. The recipe below is made with just two ingredients and is ready for use in less than 10 minutes (after soaking).

Soaking the almond nuts

Soak the raw almonds in water for a few hours, overnight or a few days. As the nuts absorb water, they soften and increase in size. Ensure that you cover with a cloth and allow to sit undisturbed until blending day.  Note that the longer you let the almond sit, the creamier the result.

Equipment Needed For Homemade Almond Milk

  • Strainer (cheesecloth or fine mesh nut milk bag)
  • Bowls
  • Blender/food processor
  • Measuring cup

Homemade Almond Milk: Ingredients Needed

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of raw almonds

Optional: sweeteners like maple syrup or dates can be added

Directions

  • Rinse the soaked almonds in clean water and drain.
  • Place almonds in a blender, add the water and blend at the highest speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Strain the almond blend with a cheesecloth or a fine nut-milk bag. Twist the cheesecloth or nut milk bag with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • You can add coconut oil and vanilla before blending for extra creaminess and flavor.

What Can I Do With Leftover Almond Pulp?

The leftover almond pulp can be added to porridges, homemade muffins, and cakes or any of your favorite oatmeal recipes. You can also dehydrate and store in sealed containers for use when needed.

 

Planning to make your first homemade almond milk or already given it a try? Let us know how you liked it in the comment section below.

Questions/thoughts? Also, share in the comments

 

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