A question from our readers: Why am I hungry all the time, especially when I eat fruits and veggies? 

  1. Low Caloric Density: Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories. While they are high in volume and fiber, which can initially make you feel full, the feeling may not last long because they don’t provide a lot of energy. Your body might signal hunger soon after eating them as it seeks more calories.
  2. Lack of Protein and Fat: Fruits and vegetables are low in protein and virtually fat-free. Protein and fat are more satiating than carbohydrates and take longer to digest, helping to keep you feeling full for a longer period. Including protein sources (legumes, nuts, seeds, lean meats, or dairy) and healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, or nuts) in your meals can help maintain satiety.
  3. Glycemic Index: Some fruits, especially those high in natural sugars, have a higher glycemic index, meaning they can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels followed by a quick drop. This fluctuation can trigger hunger soon after eating.
  4. Insufficient Overall Caloric Intake: If your overall diet is low in calories because it relies heavily on fruits and vegetables, your body may need more food. Ensuring a balanced intake of all macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) can help maintain a stable energy level.
  5. Fiber and Water Content: While the fiber and water content in fruits and vegetables can initially make you feel full, the effect might not be long-lasting without other nutrients. Fiber helps with digestion and can promote fullness, but satiety might not be sustained without enough protein and fat.

These strategies may help manage hunger:

Balance Your Meals and Snacks: Include protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates in meals and snacks—for example, pair fruits and veggies with nuts, seeds, yogurt, or lean proteins.

Increase Portion Sizes: If you’re eating mostly low-calorie foods, you might need larger portions to meet your energy needs.

Add Whole Grains: Incorporate whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread to add more bulk and sustenance to your meals.

Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

If you continue to feel excessively hungry despite making these adjustments, it might be worth consulting a healthcare provider to rule out underlying conditions, such as thyroid issues or metabolic disorders.