The feeling of hunger is a natural and necessary cue to let our bodies know we need food.

However, if you’re stomach is continually rumbling, there may be some things you need to change about your diet and lifestyle.

Here are five reasons why you may be always hungry.

You’re Dehydrated 

Often when we feel the need for an afternoon snack, we can satisfy our hunger with a glass of water. Studies have shown that our body confuses hunger and thirst more than 60% of the time.

If you are feeling hungry, have a glass of water first. If you are still hungry after this, then fill up on a protein-rich snack.

You’re Not Eating Enough Protein or Fibre

The nutrients that are found in protein and fibre-filled meals and snacks are extremely effective for keeping you fuller for longer.

While carbohydrates provide the body energy, protein and fibre allow us to hold onto that energy, keeping us from falling hungry quickly after eating.

You’re Eating Too Quickly

When you devour your meal as quickly as possible, you starve your body of the chance to register that it is full, meaning that you will become hungry quickly again after your meal.

We often eat our meals in a rush when we are hungry in the first place, so try eating nutritious snacks throughout the day to prevent fast, over-eating come dinner time.

You’re Not Sleeping Enough

When we are short on sleep our body has high levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite. A good night’s sleep helps regulate this hormone, keeping us from feeling hungry when we wake up.

Creating healthy sleeping habits will help with ensuring you are getting enough hours of sleep. For example, avoid large meals right before bed and stay off your phone and computer in the bedroom.

You’re Burning More Energy Than You Think

When you exercise at a high intensity or for a long period of time, your body will burn through more calories and will make you feel hungry.

It is a good idea to count your calories and macros (carbs, fats, protein, etc) when exercising to ensure you’re fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs to power through the sessions and the days following.

Make sure to stay hydrated while exercising, and look to eat a meal high in protein either prior or following your workout.