Q And A Forum: I just had a heavy meal like 10 minutes ago, but I feel hungry!

Harvard experts and others from other universities, say what you eat, the time between meals, the condition of your stomach, the types of meals, what you have on your mind as far as food goes and what immediately meets your eyes contribute to the time between one meal and the next.

There is a physiological and physical determinism of hunger.

Food cue-evoked cravings in people is something that requires your consideration and should never be taken for granted.  These cues are responsible for 'turning on' hunger-promoting neurons in the hypothalamus. These AgRP neurons cause hunger—they are the quintessential hunger neuron and do so by expressing the gene for Agouti-related protein (AgRP). 

By activating these AgRP neurons, you react to visual stimuli, you seek more food, and a feeling of hunger sets in. This is as far as the physiology goes. 

But, why do people feel hungry minutes after feeding heavily and how can they address it?
  • Make plans to feed regularly as this will in turn reduce the persistent hunger drive.
  • Manage your Drive for food. This is based on the Drive Reduction Theory that posits: you eat to get rid of the unpleasant feeling of hunger or you eat because the taste of good food is rewarding.
  • Have a high-protein breakfast as this may help curb your appetite later in the day. People who consumed extra protein at breakfast had lower blood sugar levels and reduced appetite later in the day compared with those consuming less protein. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates do, which explains why it can suppress appetite.
  • Most of the time, hunger has an obvious cause, like not eating enough or choosing meals that don’t contain the right amount of nutrients (carbs, protein, and fat), says D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Ph.D., a professor of human nutrition and the director of the Nutrition and Exercise Laboratory at the University of Wyoming.
  • Watch your salt. A high intake of salt actually causes you to drink less but eat more.
  • Watch your sugar. Sugary foods cause your blood sugar to spike, leading to a rise in insulin and cortisol (a hormone that promotes fat storage), which makes your blood sugar plummet, so you get hungry again.
  • Watch it, an idle mind seeks food. When we’re aimless, we look for something stimulating, like food.

Have your food but eat right otherwise you will forever be hungry and eating will become your sole occupation! If this happens, seek medical advice.


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