If you often feel hungry, you are not alone!
There are many reasons you might feel hungry. Of course, the most obvious one is that you are! Physically hungry that is. Is your stomach is empty, Has your blood sugar dropped, and arehunger hormones are having a party.That’s physical hunger! But often, the hunger may not be physical hunger.
It might be a craving or an emotional type of hunger. These are common reasons why some people may eat too much. It could be brought on by a certain type of diet profile, too much stress or chron stress, or maybe just other things going on in life.
It’s EASY to mistake “psychological” hunger for “physical” hunger. Let’s talk about the difference between both of these types of hunger, and give learn some tips how to help you figure out which one your are experiencing.
Physical hunger vs. psychological hunger
#1 -Your “physical” hunger is regulated by your body through your hunger hormones. That’s leptin and ghrelin…two very important hormones. And of course, it should be. You don’t want to be completely drained of fuel and nutrients for a long time. So, you’re smart body is programmed to seek food when you physically need it. Often times those physical needs are that your stomach is empty and/or your blood sugar has dropped.
#2 – “Psychological” hunger is eating to overcome boredom, sadness, stress, etc. It’s based on a thought or feeling, why it’s often referred to emotional hunger. It’s what happens when you see a great food commercial or walk into a great smelling grocery store (there’s a reason a lot of stores have their bakery near the door). This kind of hunger is not from your empty stomach or low blood sugar.
So, how do you know the difference!
Eight steps to figure out if you’re physically hungry or not
1 – The first thing you need to do is stop and evaluate. Mindlessly stuffing down that protein bar at the first sign of hunger isn’t necessarily going to help you.
2 – Once you stopped to evaluate..pay attention to where this hunger is coming from. Can you actually feel or hear your stomach growling? Did you miss or skip a meal, and haven’t eaten in hours? Or are you seeing and smelling something divinely delicious? Are you bored, sad, or stressed? Stop and consider all these things and really pay attention.
3 – THEN have a big glass of water. You may actually just be thirsty. Now pay attention to your hunger feeling for at least another minute. Seriously dig into the source of the hunger feeling. It can be easy to jump to a conclusion, but that may or may not be the right one. So listen to your body and mind very deeply.
.4 – If you do find that your feelings may be the source, then acknowledge and feel them. They may just be needing your comfort and recognition, even if they feel like they need food. Try deep breathing, stand up and stretch, or going for a quick walk to release some of these emotions. This also gives your mind a chance to focus on something other than the feeling of hunger.
5 – If you’re pretty sure that your body physically needs nutrition, just wait a few more minutes to make sure.
6 -AND then you can be fairly certain that your hunger was from emotions, boredom, thirst, or actual physical hunger.
7 – If it’s physical hunger, feel free to eat, choosing healthy and nutritious foods. To satisfy the hunger the food you eat should be a mix of a protein, fiber, and water, and a healthy carb if wanted. Eat slowly and mindfully. Allow your body to be able to tell you when you have had enough. Chew well and savor every last bite of it.
8 – Rinse and repeat at the your next feeling of hunger. Realize that eating at set times, when not hungry does not satisfy your hormones.
The feeling of hunger can manifest for many reasons. Of course, if you’re truly physically hungry – you need the food and nutrients. But often, there can be underlying psychological or emotional reason you might feel hungry.
Now you know my eight steps to figure out if your physical body is hungry, or if you’re bored, sad, or stressed. Use this process over and over again to feed your body what it actually physically needs (and not overdo it).