How to Identify Hunger

One of the most common concerns my clients usually have when we start working together is that they are unsure about how to recognise and honour their hunger. Most of my clients have been following diets and meal plans for when to eat and how much for so long that they have completely blunted their ability to trust their internal cues of hunger and fullness.

They either don’t feel that stomach sensation so many of us associate with hunger, or they feel they need to wait way too long in order to sense any level of hunger at which point they are overly hungry and end up overeating or bingeing. In a challenge, I have been running when I asked challengers to identify what hunger feels like to them many described it as this huge pit in their stomach that was insatiable

Can you relate?

If you are feeling the same I am going to share with you what I share with my private 1:1 clients.

While we immediately think of a growling stomach, here are a few other ways to help you identify hunger and honour your internal cues if you are feeling confused.


1. Energy Levels

When your body has run out of the fuel from your previous meal, your blood sugar will start going down which tells your body that you’re low on energy and need to eat.

While you may not always feel a growing stomach you may notice you are slower, your energy levels are less, you are feeling moody, and you might have trouble focusing. These are all signs that your body needs to eat to get those energy levels up and your body functioning at its best.

So this week try and notice your energy levels and mental clarity. If there is, it is further proof that your body was hungry and you needed to eat, even if you didn’t feel it in your stomach. Have something nourishing and see how the rest of the day goes and if you are handling your cravings better.


2. Increased Food Thoughts

Do you notice that you are thinking about a delicious cookie or refreshing salad out of the blue? That may be your brain’s way of telling you that you need to seek food and eat!

Your body has some amazing mechanisms at play to make sure your body gets what it needs. One of them is making you notice and think about food as a reminder that you need to find something to eat, ever notice how you start to daydream about every delicious food on the planet when you have a very busy day and you don’t have time to sit down for a proper meal?


3. Food Tastes Better

If you suspect you are hungry, really take the time to notice the flavour and texture of the first bite as its typically the most delicious one. Again, this is your body’s way of motivating you to eat when it is low on energy. It is a survival mechanism. As you get fuller, the tastes begins to dissipate. It may still taste good – it just won’t be as good as those first few bites because your body is telling you it’s refuelled and no longer need to motivate you to eat.

If you have difficulty recognising hunger and honouring it time you can also practice checking in every 2 to 3 hours (max 4 hours) and assess if you need to eat something. Consistently giving your body the nourishment it needs throughout the day will also help your body begin to trust that it will receive the energy it needs and internal cues can restore themselves.


Want more guidance and clarity to identify, trust, and honour hunger and fullness cues so you can eat with confidence and satisfaction?

Contact me for a consultation and see if my 1:1 beating binge eating program is a good fit for you.