Hungry Man

3 Ways to Shut Down Constant Hunger

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

January 27, 2016

• The gnawing hunger in your gut
• What’s driving your appetite?
• 3 ways to shut down constant hunger

In last Friday’s issue of Advanced Natural Wellness, I addressed what may be the underlying cause of some of your cravings for specific foods. This sparked interest in another topic which is quite similar…

Why do I feel hungry all the time?

Believe it or not, I get this question a lot. Here in the U.S., we have an abundance of food at our fingertips. Yet many folks can’t seem to get rid of that underlying “gnawing hunger” in their gut.

So let’s take a look at three things that may be driving your hunger.

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Not getting enough protein. Protein is a big winner when it comes to satisfying your hunger. And the fullness it gives you won’t disappear in a matter of hours like carbs do. Instead, it will help keep your appetite under control all day long.

For example, eating a freshly pastured egg at breakfast suppresses ghrelin, the hormone that sends hunger signals to your brain. Eggs also keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels steady…and remember eggs register minimal to no glycemic index levels.

This keeps your hunger in check, which helps decrease your food intake as the day goes on.

But eggs aren’t your only source of protein.

You can get plenty of it from beans, nuts, seeds, coconut milk, kefir and plain organic Greek yogurt. You can even whip up a protein shake or smoothie. Just mix some whey or egg white protein with almond milk and throw in some dark-green leafy veggies.
(Wild caught fish and organic grass-fed beef are other good sources of protein. Just don’t go overboard on them. These meat sources of protein should only account for about 13% of your diet.)

Eating a low-fat diet. Now, a lot of folks think fat is fattening. If you’re one of them, you may have cut fats from your diet in order to lose weight or keep from gaining any additional pounds.

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However, your body needs fats. They have all sorts of health benefits… including the ability to keep you feeling full long after you’ve eaten them. So even though they’re high in calories, they can ultimately cut your caloric intake!

Extra virgin olive oil is one of my favorite sources of healthy fats. Including it regularly in your meals can increase the levels of serotonin – a satiety hormone – in your blood. This keeps you from overeating later in the day, and could reduce your calorie intake by as much as 175 calories a day.

Avocados are also loaded with healthy fats that keep you feeling satiated throughout the day. That’s because the monounsaturated fats in this fruit have an influence on the hormone (leptin) that tells you when you’re full. At the same time, avocados help keep insulin levels steady.

What does that mean for you? Eating just a half of an avocado can reduce your desire to eat by about 40% over the next three to five hours.

Tree nuts (not peanuts) are another big win in my book. Despite the myth that they’ll make you fat, just the opposite is true. They may even encourage weight loss. That’s because their healthy protein, fat and fiber content can make you feel more satiated after eating them, and keep you feeling fuller longer than many other foods.

Try unsalted pistachios, walnuts and cashews. Almonds, pecans, macadamia and Brazil nuts are all great choices, too.

There’s one more factor when it comes to regulating your hunger. And it isn’t food related.

Too little sleep. Yes, that’s right. Your body needs plenty of regular sleep to maintain a proper balance of your hunger hormones. One of them is leptin, which sends satiety signals to the brain when you’re full. The other is ghrelin, which sends hunger signals to your brain when it’s time to re-fuel.

Well, it turns out that people who sleep less have decreased levels of leptin and higher ghrelin levels.

In other words, your “I’m full” hormone gets locked in the off position while your “I’m hungry” hormone is constantly turned on. This amplifies your appetite which, in turn, could boost your caloric intake by up to about 30%.

Eat well, sleep well… and stop being hungry.


Ratliff J, et al. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutr Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):96-103.

Technische Universitaet Muenchen. “Olive oil makes you feel full.” ScienceDaily. Mar 2013.

Wien M, et al. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J. 2013 Nov 27;12:155.

Jackson CL, et al. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:408S-11S

Taheri S, et al. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. Epub 2004 Dec 7.

Spiegel K, et al. Brief communication: Sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Dec 7;141(11):846-50.