What Kind of Hunger Is Driving You to Eat? Part 2: The Body AKA “True” Hunger

Updated: Nov 19

In the previous part of this three-part series on hunger types based on Jan Chozen Bays’ book Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food and other Mindful Eating resources, we talked about the different senses and how they drive the desire to eat certain foods. Today, we are going to focus on the physical signals of hunger. As with many processes, this remains complex, with some of the other types of hunger triggering physical hunger.

However, it is these two physical components of hunger with which it is essential to get in touch to learn your own hunger cues. This can help you as you assess whether you want to eat something or pass and wait until the next time it is available to you and you are truly hungry.

Stomach Hunger

It is key to start to learn the cues of your stomach hunger. What are they?

  • Does your stomach gurgle?

  • Does it feel empty?

  • Do you have hunger pains?

  • Perhaps you start to feel a bit nauseous.

  • Maybe your stomach talks to you in a more subtle way.

This is where awareness in the body becomes important, which frequently takes time and practice.

Although feeling physical hunger cues from the stomach may seem like the best way to recognize “real” hunger, they can sometimes trick you. The brain and a complex system of hormones stimulate this response, something that is beyond what we have space here to discuss.