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7 Things That Falsely Convince You You're Hungry

May 01, 2014 3 min read

There are a number of things that can make you think you are hungry when you aren't. This can throw a spanner in the works for your weight loss, so here are some of the main things that falsely convince you you're hungry: 1. You are eating too much sugar Sugar is well known for contributing to weight gain, but did you know that it can actually make you feel hungry when you're not? A 2011 study found that consuming a large amount of sugar can actually throw off the hormonal balance in your gut. Eating excessive amounts of sugar slows the production of leptin (the hormone that suppresses the appetite), resulting in ghrelin (the hormone that informs your brain that you are hungry) being free to fool you into thinking you need to eat more. 2. You are constantly looking at "food porn" Social media is full of delicious looking meals. Whether it's friends' photos at restaurants, or images on Instagram, we are surrounded by perfect looking food, and let's be honest, it makes you hungry. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that looking at images of delicious food actually activates the brain's reward centre and can cause you to overeat. sleep 3. You are tired A recent study undertaken by Pleunie Hogenkamp, Ph.D. found that sleep deprivation can actually make your brain more sensitive to the rewarding properties of food, meaning that feeling tired could actually cause you to reach for larger portion sizes. Previous studies have also shown that when you stay awake all night, your body burns about 7 percent more calories. So it makes sense that sleep-deprived people compensate by eating a little bit more. By getting more sleep you will be able to regulate your hunger, resulting in your body only telling you it's hungry when it actually is. you are dehydrated 4. You are dehydrated Many people confuse the sensation of thirst for hunger, and this can often lead to overeating because you eat when you aren't actually hungry. If you feel like you are hungry then drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes; if you still feel hungry then it was hunger, if you don't then it was thirst. Ruling out the risk of dehydration is a great start to finding out if you are actually hungry. 5. You are stressed A recent study has found that worrying about a future event can actually make you think you are hungry. Worrying about an event in the future can cause ghrelin (the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry) to spike. Unfortunately, this effect is even stronger when you're actually in the middle of experiencing something stressful. 6. You are watching other people eat We all know that it's very hard to resist pinching a chip or helping yourself to a cookie if the people around you are eating those foods. We tend to feel hungry when we see someone else eating; particularly if it is something we know we shouldn't want. A joint study at Duke University and Arizona State University found that women tend to mirror other women's eating habits. In my opinion, this isn't the case for just women though; I think it's hard for everyone to not crave something they are watching someone else eat right in front of them. So next time you are with your friends or other half and they start tucking into something, ask yourself if you are really hungry, or if it's just related to the "food porn" point made earlier. 7. You have only recently finished your meal Have you ever eaten a meal and soon after felt hungry? You're not alone; this can happen if you have eaten too quickly, as your brain may not have had time to register that you are full yet. It takes your brain 12 minutes to receive the message that you are full, so give it time. To prevent this from happening, try to eat slower. If you are eating in front of a screen that can also affect your ability to realize that you are full as your brain is focusing on what's going on in the program you are watching, rather than concentrating on your food. Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_106669" align="alignnone" width="100"]@BodyRockTV @BodyRockTV[/caption]  

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