What Type of Hungry Are You??

Sept. 27, 2019

Humans experience hunger in a variety of ways. We don't always stop to take the time to think about it, let's explore together!


When we are stuck in diet culture, some think that being hungry is a bad thing.  In truth, being hungry is NORMAL! It’s your body asking for something it needs, kind of like needing to go to the bathroom.

What emotions or thoughts come up when we think we are hungry?  Some examples could be fear, worry, question, and/or wonder.  If we are really used to dieting, tracking our intake or creating a rigid "lifestyle" change, needing to stop and eat isn't always welcomed.

Hunger is sometimes stressful, "I don't have time to stop and eat", "I just ate, why do I need to eat again", "I am not sure what even is good for me to eat right now.”  These are all some inner thoughts or examples that come up when hunger strikes. 

A good question to start with might be. What does hunger even feel like?  Do we know what hunger feels like in our own bodies, or do we only know what being ravenous or "starving" feels like.  Well, if you were taught to ignore hunger, or cover it up with water, coffee or other distractions, then you might only recognize extreme hunger. 

So, let's talk the FOUR types of hunger and then maybe we can give ourselves a little grace.

  1. Physical hunger: I can feel it in my stomach or my body in general.
  2. Brain hunger: Eating for more psychological or practical reasons, not physical ones. (eating at a certain time or at a party, when looks or sounds good but not physically hungry)
  3. Heart hunger: This one is more about emotions, eating to soothe or to celebrate.
  4. Taste hunger: Wanting a specific taste or "feeling" like tasting something sweet.  

Now that you know these, know that no one type is better than the other and they don't always happen independently.  I can be physically hungry and desire a specific food based on my thoughts (physical + brain hunger).

Consider getting curious about what types of hunger you honor or don't throughout the day.  This might be an opportunity to learn about our patterns.  Happy eating!

Reference: Intuitive Eating book by Evelyn Tribole and Vincci Tsui's The Mindful Eating Workbook, a lovely compliment to an Intuitive Eating practice.