Has "bottomless pit" ever been used to describe your eating habits? Before you start feeling bad about why you can out-eat your friends, have a look at these 15 science backed reasons as to why!
1. Your stomach is literally larger .
Regardless of what size you wear or whether or not you have a six-pack, an anatomical difference in stomach size could explain why you need to super-size your meal to feel satiated. Everyone has a unique body shape and size — same goes for your organs.
2. You laugh a lot.
A study presented at the Experimental Biology Conference in Anaheim, California, in 2010 showed participants either stressful or hilarious 20-minute film clips and then measured their levels of ghrelin (the hormone that fuels your appetite) and leptin (the hormone that tells your brain you're full). People who laughed through the funny films had higher levels of hungry hormones and lower levels of satiety hormones than people who watched the more serious options.
3. Your diet is void of healthy bacteria.
Some research suggests that prebiotics, or non-digestible fibers found in foods like chicory root, artichokes, garlic, and onion, could help suppress your appetite by altering your stomach bacteria. Skip it and you could find yourself wanting more after every meal.
4. You always eat breakfast — but skipped it this morning.
According to a study in 2015, regular breakfast eaters who forgo a morning meal get hungrier than habitual breakfast skippers.
5. You're drunk.
Alcohol stokes the appetite and suppresses self-control.
6. You don't eat enough protein.
When you eat a hearty source of protein, your body breaks the nutrient into amino acids. These are the building blocks that help to regulate your appetite so you know to when to stop eating.
7. You pop antacids often
Antacids neutralize acid and inhibit the activity of digestive enzymes — two benefits if you're suffering from heartburn or indigestion. However, the drugs can inhibit your body's ability to break down even high-quality dietary protein into all-important amino acids.
8. You're constantly stressed
Persistent stress could kick your stress hormones into overdrive, increasing your motivation to eat around the clock. Another thing: Cortisol can also stimulate intense cravings for sugar, so you'll be "hungry" for dessert although your body is physically stuffed.
9. You're a sucker for sugar
Sugar disrupts natural appetite cues. In fact, it might actually make you hungrier.
10. You're getting your period.
There's no doubt that sex hormones influence your appetite. Research suggests that estrogen, plays a leading role in regulating appetite and metabolism. Right before you get your period, estrogen levels plummet — which could be the reason why you're particularly ravenous at the very end of your cycle.
11. You ate a lot of crappy carbs.
Unlike protein and high-quality fats, your body can't use refined carbs for raw materials to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter closely linked to physical and emotional satisfaction after meals.
12. You didn't work out today.
Aerobic exercise actually decreases circulating levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, reduces stress (which can make you eat more) and boosts your energy — so you don't feel as much of a need to eat food for fuel.
13. You really worked out today.
While low-key cardio can help you fend off hunger pangs, getting extra activity can work the opposite way.
14. Your friends are super skinny.
If you're taller or more muscular than your friends, you might naturally need extra calories to fuel your body. Meanwhile, you might underserve yourself to match the amount of food on your petite friends' plates — a move that may leave you craving more.
15. You ate without paying attention.
If you mindlessly much on cheese and wine at a dinner party you could easily eat a meal's worth of calories without your body actually recognizing it's a meal.