Understanding the nuances of hunger and their mechanisms, is a good first step in both acknowledging and being able to respond to our needs. Strengthening our inner narrative is key to not becoming blind-sided when irritability or low blood sugar takes over. Cutting hunger off at its early indicators and responding to it will keep our energy levels strong and teach our bodies that its needs are going to be met.
Primal/ biological Hunger – This hunger is our basic biological need to thrive. If our blood sugar becomes low, our energy stores are depleted, our body is lacking. This is our drive to survive, where biochemical factors are triggered to drive us to seek food to restore and function. This is the hunger we need to focus most of our attention around.
Taste Hunger – Ever go to a friends birthday party, the cake comes out, it looks delicious. Eating is not a response to your bodies needs but is part of the tapestry of the experience. This kind of hunger is often the type where ‘dieters’ feel they have to abstain and if they do partake feel like they have failed.
Practical Hunger – Although biological hunger is what we want to respond to most readily, it is not realistic to always wait for our cues. Examples of these situations are, going into an all day meeting or meeting friends at a particular time. Do you change your life to accommodate hunger or do you have a social life and nourish yourself. In these instances it’s important to take a practical route.
Emotional Hunger – This is a big one that we will cover in more depth over the course of this series. Being able to distinguish between emotional and biological hunger is key to becoming an intuitive eater. Many eat to numb, for boredom, to soothe or to distract amongst a host of other reasons. Being able to incorporate additional tools to your coping mechanisms, will allow you to detach from food being an emotional entity and respond to your biological needs more readily. This is not easy but totally possible.