If there are days (or a bunch of them strung together) when you feel constantly hungry even though you’ve eaten as much (or more) than you normally do, well, you’re not alone. We’re human beings, not automatons, which means that no two days are exactly alike. Some days, I’m not hungry at all, and I eat just so I can soak up the coffee or alcohol (or both) I’ve dumped in my mouth to get through the week. Others, it seems like I’m eating 24/7 and pretending my pants still fit.

Aside from hormones (which I happily blame my poor eating habits on once a month), it turns out there are a few common reasons you might be losing control of your appetite. None of them are particularly easy to fix, exactly, but knowledge is power and all of that.

At the very least, it will give you something to think about the next time you’re feeling motivated to eat well, sleep better, and work out. You know, be healthy and all that junk.

You need to hit the hay earlier.

We all (should) know by now that good sleep habits are connected to your overall health in myriad ways. There is a connection between overeating and not getting good rest, largely because our decision-making is impaired by a lack of zzz’s. So not only do we tend to eat more on the days when we’re extra tired, but we tend to make poorer food choices as well.

Photo Credit: Twitter, @legit_food

You’re eating too many refined carbs.

Pizza, pasta, breads that don’t contain whole grains…they all have something in common (aside from being delicious).

Photo Credit: Twitter, @KalvinMacleod

They’re easily burned up by your body, which causes a blood sugar spike, then crash. You end up in a cycle of craving/satisfying/craving that can’t be broken until you have some meals full of whole grains, legumes, fruits, dairy, or other less processed foods.

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You need to drink more water.

I personally find this advice super annoying, but apparently it’s true – you could just be thirsty, not hungry at all. According to this study, over 60% of people may confuse hungry and thirst signals. So the next time you’re dying for a meal, grab a glass of water, down it, and wait a few minutes to see how you feel.

You’re not eating enough “good” fats.

Yes, there are fats that are good for you! Our bodies need fat as much as they need proteins and sugars, but it’s all about choices and moderation.

If you’re choosing foods with a low fat label, you might be getting more sugar in return – something that will metabolize more quickly and leave you craving more.

“Good” fats can be found in foods like avocado, eggs, and some types of fish.

Stress is getting the better of you.

We’re all stressed, so this might be the most unhelpful suggestion of the bunch. If you can find something that works for you, though (yoga, meditation, booze, voodoo dolls), it could be the key to curbing your impulsive eating.

Stress causes your adrenal glands to release cortisol, which increases your appetite. Not only that, but stress-eaters are more likely to grab junk food, too.

Science, my friends. Ain’t it a beautiful thing?

h/t: My Domaine

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