Why Do I Crave Food When I Am Not Hungry? How To Stop This Craving

Everyone sometime or the other must have experienced food craving even if not hungry. May be you pick up a candy bar from the jar when you pass by it in your office or you eat when you are feeling bored. All these are just excuses you get to nibble upon for reasons other than hunger. Eating food when you are not hungry once in a while may not be a problem. We have all indulged into it sometime. But if you keep on eating too much or continue the habit in your daily life, it can decisively affect your weight loss goal.

Sometime eating without hunger can also hurt your health; this depends on the food that you crave. Let us know the reasons that may increase food craving even if you are not hungry. Follow the tips to relinquish such craving.

Reasons for Food Craving When You Are Not Hungry:

There are several reasons that may trigger craving for food, even if you are not hungry.

  • Dieting: If you are dieting for any reason, you restrict eating certain foods. Especially you may be advised to cut down the calories by limiting carbs and fats in your diet.
    Normally your body is used to these foods, but sudden disappearance of fats and carbs from your diet can be more unsatisfying even though your stomach is full. This is common when you eat low fat diet. Normally fat triggers a hormone that messages the brain that you are full. But its limitation will not activate this hormone and your brain will still think you are hungry even if your stomach is full with salads, fruits and other food stuffs.
  • Emotions: Depression and sadness often cause increased craving even if you are full. Especially when you are sad or depressed, you tend to eat foods that give you a feel good feeling. You munch upon chocolates and sweets for these reasons even when you are not hungry.
  • Boredom: Sometimes you may not be emotionally disturbed but feel bored. There are many people who feel eating is the right solution when they do not have anything on hand to do.
  • Eating with others: If you are enjoying dinner or lunch with your friends and family member, it becomes easy for you to override your satiety level. Often you are engrossed so much in conversation that you may not realize your stomach is full. Your brain still thinks you are hungry.
  • Special occasion: A party at home or office is the time you have to be careful of your eating. Even after eating the meal, you may indulge in eating something more like eating pastries etc as a celebration.
  • Substituting food: Sometimes food substitution can in fact increase the craving for food. For example if you crave for an ice-cream but instead you drink protein shake to reduce sugar intake. But the craving for ice-cream will not go away. Instead your body which needed the ice-cream laden with sugar will make you eat that too.

How to Stop Craving for Food

Even though you are not hungry but still feel like eating can arise from several factors such as boredom, bad eating habit, stress, dieting etc. This trend can be detrimental to your health in a long run. Here are few tips that you can follow when your body actually does not need food.

  • Drink water whenever you feel hungry even though your stomach is full. You can add few lemon slices or orange slices in a jar. Fill it with water. Drink one or two cups whenever needed.
  • If you crave sweets after a full meal, try this. Drink a cup of herbal tea mixed with one teaspoon of honey.
  • Do something different when you feel hungry in certain environment. For example if you are regularly craving to eat something in the kitchen right after a full meal, avoid roaming around kitchen. Instead go in the bedroom or living room and start some other activities that will divert your attention from food.
  • If you are sad or emotionally disturbed and tend to become hungry soon after eating your meal, take a bit of dark chocolate. This will increase your serotonin level and make you feel more relaxed. It will also reduce your habit of unwanted eating.