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The Hunger Games: The 7 Types of Hunger and how to Satisfy them

Updated: May 8, 2021

Curb mindless eating and give your body what it needs.

Most of us in the First World do not experience „real” hunger; we are eating more often, eat bigger portions and consume way more calories than what our body really needs.

Just as there are "skinny fat" people, there are "fat and starving" people too: no matter how much they eat, they seem to be fighting a seemingly unsatifiable hunger. The more they fight the hunger, the stronger it gets, and the more we feed it, the more it wants to eat.

A lot of us don’t know if we are really hungry or completely full and this encourages us for mindless eating, emotional eating, or makes us constantly ruminating about food.

Commercials are designed to tap into our natural tendency to be confused about feelings and hunger. Contrary to what the commercial tells you, NO, you are probalby NOT HANGRY: you are probably frustrated, angry, stressed: consuming a sugary, chocolately treat will NOT solve your anger problem, because food was never your problem.

Food will only solve genuine hunger problems, and of the seven types of hunger, only one of them can be solved with food.

To avoid the problem of feeding food to a feeling, we must ​adopt a more mindful approach, This involves being aware of and paying attention to when, what we are eating, and why?

The 7 types of hunger

1) Eye hunger

We want to eat, because the food is Instagram worthy: we enjoy the presentation, the creativity, the colors or the ambiance. Watching cooking channel, commercials, or posts of a foody friend’s instagram account can trigger this type of hunger.

Tip: –use this to your advantage: satisfy eye hunger by concentrating on the look of your food before you eat. Arrange your food, even it is a piece of cracker in a appealing and beautiful way on a beautiful platter. Take a good look and enjoy the view, before digging in. Go ahead, make a photo. That carrot puree is beautiful.

2) Nose hunger

Taste and smell are linked : this is the reason that we lose either or both when we have a cold or allergy and our nose is stuffed. Smell triggers powerful emotions and feelings, and feel good hormones that practically beg us to reach out for that hot, buttery bread or that cinamon bun.No wonder, home stagers stick a bun in the oven before home showing and malls often have pleasant food smell pumped in with the air, to encourage emotional shopping and a quick trip to the food court.

Tip– engage fully with the smell of food, before you eat. Inhale (the smell, not the whole bun!) and really extend your enjoyment of your food. Neighbor’s BBQ makes you ravenously hungry? Get a sniff of a neutral fragrance that cancels hunger: According to a study, smelling bananas or apples can curb hunger and so does peppermint or vanilla.

3) Mouth hunger

When we stuff our food more often than we need, we are triggering Mouth Hunger. Your mouth craves a range of textures, feelings, temperatures and feelings and it cannot be simply satisfied with a bag of chips or a bucket of popcorn.

Tip–practice mindful chewing. This will satisfy your mouth, slow down your eating, and your will be more likely to be satisfied.

4) Mind hunger

I would say this is the most dangerous type of hunger of them all. Mind hunger happens usually when one is following a diet or nutritional program to the point of obsesion. Constantly thinking of food, nutrition „bad” and „desireable” amounts, ingredients, nutritiens will turn hunger from a phisiological problem to a psychological or math problem to be solved. The more you THINK of food, the more likely is your attention turn into an obsession which can lead to an eating disorder.

Tip: this is very challenging to deal with, as it involves shutting off all the „good” and „bad” advice you hear and focusing on really getting to know and listen to your body, and trusting that your body, when not interfered with, knows exactly what and how much it needs.

5) Heart hunger

Emotional hunger is another huge challenge. We eat to cope with unccomfortable emotions, or to mask feelings, and we eat to trigger happy emotions, associated with comfort food. Emotional hunger can lead to obesitiy and is often associated with trauma, especially with childhood sexual abuse.

Tip: really pay attention to your feelings and remember, „food can only solve food problems”. Explore comfort and copying skills, self care that do not involve food.

6) Stomach hunger

Do you know when you are hungry? A rumbling stomach or empty feeling migh tbe more of a routine and habit, than real hunger. For example, by training your body to receive food at a certain set time (lunch time), your body will start to get ready before the scheduled time, with producing stomach acid and fluids in anticipation of food. This in turn, can be interpreted as being "hungry"

Tip: – you can retrain your body to „feel” hungry less often, by changing the „feeding times”. When you feel hungry, rate your hunger from 1-10, with 1 being „I am starving, my stomach is entirely empty” to 10 „”I feel completely full and could not eat another morsel” . Do not eat, unless you are rating at or close to 2-3: you are genuinely hungry and at least 6 hours passed from your last meal (takes time to digest and empty the stomach).

7) Cellular hunger

Your body needs certain nutritiens and when you are restricting one or more type of food from your diet, chances are you are losing out on some nutritiens. No matter how much pizza you eat, you will probably never satisfy your need for certain nutritiens and minerals. Conversely, all the spinach in the world will not satisfy your body craving for protein.

Tip: listen to what your body is trying to tell you, and consume a diversity of food, textures, and types, even if they are „bad” . Always try to feed cellular hunger wiht food first, and supplement with natural supplements and vitamins as needed.


Make the most of all your senses to satisfy all your hungers. Instead of rushing through grocery store and grabbing processed food, take your time smelling, touching and admiring food. Make your own food, put on some music and really enjoy making your meal with love: pay attention to the sounds, the fragrances, the textures. Set a nice plate and arrange your food to be pleasant to the eye. Go ahead, play with your food!

Learn to listen to your body and be kind to your hungers. Eat for nutrition, for health, and for healing and make positive, not food related choices to satisfy your senses: your hungers will be satisfied too.


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