Mistaken Identity: It’s Not Really Hunger

If you’re constantly craving food it may be a case of mistaken identity, acting as hunger in disguise.

 1. Drinking alcohol

It suppresses the hormone that tells you when you’re full, so your body doesn’t know when it’s had enough. Not just that, it sharpens food smells and tastes, making you want food more.

 2. Getting too little sleep

Studies show the less you sleep, the hungrier you feel the next day. A brain system that regulates appetite misfires when you don’t get enough shut-eye, increasing cravings for food.

Related: How to Kick Those Food Cravings to the Curb

3. You’re really just thirsty

The signals come from the same part of the brain, so people sometimes confuse hunger and thirst. Try to drink first and then eat.

 4. It’s that time of the month

Your estrogen levels increase during PMS. That ultimately causes an increase in appetite, often with cravings for foods high in sugar and carbs.

 5. Sugar spikes

If you’re eating too much sugar, it can mess with your body’s blood sugar levels, which will confuse your hunger cues. Cut back and your body will crave nutrients it needs for energy.

 The bottom line: you know your body best.

Pay attention to the signs and feed the hunger, not the other emotions.

Related: 5 Foods to Control Your Cravings

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About the author

Dr. Jennifer Miranda

Dr. Jennifer Miranda is a board certified Internal Medicine physician who believes that doctors should make a difference in the quality of people’s lives. To this end, she founded Pure Executive Health & Wellness, a comprehensive medical practice centered around the importance of the patient-physician relationship in achieving total body wellness.

Dr. Miranda is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Harvard, she was a four-time recipient of the annual John Harvard Scholarship for academic achievement of highest distinction, and she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious collegiate national honor society. She then attended the University of Miami School of Medicine where she graduated with selection into Alpha Omega Alpha, which is the highest honor someone can obtain during their medical education. Her exceptional skills as a resident led to her selection as Intern of the Year and later as Chief Medical Resident at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. She also has extensive knowledge in the field of Functional Medicine, and has recently completed a 2 year comprehensive program at the University of Miami.