Have you ever experienced hunger sensations right after a meal?
Do you ever feel out of control around certain foods and have no idea why?
You may be surprised to know there are seven different types of hunger. Yep. Seven.
We know what you’re thinking, huh!?
So, what exactly do you think you’re hungry for?
What are you trying to achieve?
Is it distraction?
Trying to cope with a negative emotion and sticky feelings?
HUNGER IN SEVEN WAYS EXPLAINED
1. Eye hunger
When food looks very appetising, but you may not necessarily be hungry.
2. Nose hunger
A certain smell or aroma may stimulate your appetite.
3. Mouth hunger
We condition ourselves to often have something in our mouths as a way of distraction.
4. Stomach hunger
Your stomach rumbles as a sign of physical or primal hunger.
5. Cellular hunger
Your body requires essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (fat, protein and carbs) for optimal health. Cravings of certain foods may be a cue of specific nutrients your body needs.
6. Mindset hunger
Eating certain foods as per a specific ‘diet’ we may want to follow. This is the case when you override what your body needs with what you believe or want it to need
7. Heart hunger
Emotional hunger falls here. This is often interpreted as trying to fill an emotional void or cope with an uncomfortable feeling
One of the ways you can identify the type of hunger you are experiencing is through mindful eating.
Mindful eating helps you become aware of the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations during the eating activity whilst give you an opportunity to reconnect with your own innate body wisdom.
It falls under the mindfulness umbrella which is the act of bringing full awareness to the present moment whilst adopting a non-judgemental attitude.
HIT THAT SATISFACTION BUTTON
At the core of the human experience and what we strive for is satisfaction. We can learn a lot from Japanese wisdom which promotes pleasure as one of the main tenets of living a healthy and balanced life.
What we know is satisfaction drives our behaviour.
If we are not satisfied, we are not content, and we strive for more.
When it comes to eating, this can look a little something like wanting a chocolate chip cookie and having an apple instead.
Then a few minutes later still feeling hungry and having the chocolate chip cookie anyway.
In this case, the probability of having what you want in the first place is greater. Putting you at risk of overeating.
The goal is for you to enjoy eating rather than see it as punishment. There is no sense in eating a ‘healthy’ bland meal for the sake of being healthy and yet not enjoying it. Where is the fun in that?
By honouring your desires, you will be able to not only own your physical health but mental health too!
OUR TOP TIPS
- Take time to plate your food beautifully to make it appealing
- Smell your food before eating it and notice what it smells like, Sweet? Sour? Umami?
- Take time to chew your food. Feel the texture, notice the temperature, consistency. Is it hard? Moist? Dry? Chewy?
- Listen to your body and try to tune into your hunger levels. Use the Hunger-Fullness Scale (1-10), where 1 is ravenous and 10 is so full you feel sick. Ask yourself where you are on the scale before and after meals. If you are above a six, the likelihood is you are not physically or stomach hungry.
- Limit distractions whilst eating. If you are used to TV dinners or scrolling through your IG feed while eating lunch, take a moment to pause and check-in with yourself.
- Tap into the world of mindfulness. Try listening to audio guides focusing on mindful eating.
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