Here’s Why You Feel Constantly Hungry

( by Joel Fuhrman, M. D, Wellness Contributor

We live in a society of food excess, where people have been trained to overeat since childhood. In our society, most people overeat routinely. This is fairly obvious since more than two-thirds of adults in this country are overweight or obese.

..many people cannot even tell when they are truly hungry.

Overeating is so deeply ingrained that many people cannot even tell when they are truly hungry. For most people, hunger means stomach rumbling, headaches, light-headedness, irritability, fatigue, and an inability to focus. Too often we want to quell these uncomfortable signals so we eat again to stop our distress. And, since eating removes those symptoms, they have to be hunger pangs, correct? Wrong.

Those symptoms are not hunger. They are detoxification symptoms that easily resolve in a few weeks on a high-nutrient diet. The standard American diet is loaded with processed foods, oils, sweeteners, and animal products. Regular consumption of these foods leads to inflammation, oxidative stress, and the accumulation of toxic metabolites. The symptoms that most people assume are hunger pangs are actually symptoms of withdrawal produced by the body’s attempts to detoxify the waste produced by harmful, low-nutrient foods. I call this ‘toxic hunger.’

When trying to lose weight by transitioning to a high-nutrient diet, some people mistakenly interpret the uncomfortable detoxification symptoms of toxic hunger by assuming the diet is not right for them or they need to eat heavier foods or more animal products, or they just need to eat more frequently. In reality, what they need is to allow their body time to rid themselves of the accumulated waste produced by their previously unhealthy diet.

Understanding that these uncomfortable symptoms of toxic hunger lessen considerably in just 3 days and eventually leave completely is important and helpful. Misinterpreting these signals leads to food addiction and overeating. True hunger is felt in the throat, neck, and mouth, not in the stomach or head.

With true hunger there is increased salivation and a gnawing throat sensation. It is not uncomfortable to feel real hunger; it makes food taste better when you eat, and it makes eating much more pleasurable. True hunger requires no special food to satisfy it. It is relieved by eating almost anything. You can’t crave some particular food and call it hunger; cravings are the consequence of inadequate nutrition

The good news here is healthful food supplies the micronutrients to remove metabolic wastes and prevent toxic build-up and symptoms of withdrawal. No headaches. No irritability. When the body consumes adequate amounts of vegetables, greens, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds, the result is diminished sensations signaling you to eat.  It then becomes preferable to eat only when you are truly hungry, which means you can easily obtain your ideal weight.

The timing of meals is important. That’s because when the body is not digesting food it can enhance repair and release more fat from storage. This is why grazing or snacking throughout the day is detrimental to weight loss. It is also why most people never experience true hunger. Instead, they eat too much and too frequently and the results is excess weight and chronic disease.

The secret to superior health and your ideal weight is to eat more and more nutrient-rich plant foods.  When your dietary quality goes up, your desire to overeat will go down. A Nutritarian diet is designed so people can achieve and maintain their ideal weight forever enhance longevity and prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Thank you to our friends at for contributing this piece.

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