6 Ways to Address Hunger: Clearing the blur between Emotional and Physical hunger

Clearing the blur between Emotional and Physical hunger


Lets discuss something that affects each and every one of us: The battle between understanding emotional and physical hunger - and properly addressing it. 

Food is on this planet to nourish our bodies and provide the fuel we need to keep living. However, not all food is created equal and if we have health, wellness and fitness goals – frozen pizza and beer isn’t going to make the cut anymore. 

Emotional Hunger

We eat for emotional reasons because we have a ‘need’ to FEEL better. Fat and sugar target the pleasure center in our brain and tend to temporarily heal emotional discomfort. Not to forget – alcohol… *sugar* in drug form that acts as a pretty great distraction from poor feelings. However, afterwards the issues are still ever-present and now we have a stomach full of tox

ic food and drink that adds to the snowballing feelings of guilt, shame and discomfort that leads to another failing fad diet. 

Emotional hunger happens quickly.

Be ready to address it. Its an ‘all in your head’ quick fix to a thought or feeling you’re having as a result of something that’s happened. If you’re craving foods that will make you feel better rather than foods that will fuel your body, you’re probably not physically hungry.

Physical Hunger

Food is GOOD. We need food for energy and to maintain healthy (fat-burning) muscle tissue and healthy organs. Don’t get me wrong, I love food – maybe more than most. That being said, there are ways to enjoy nutritionally bountiful meals when you are physically hungry that aid in you reaching your health, wellness and fitness goals rather than disrupting them.

Physical hunger happens gradually.

You start to feel that slow progression into awareness that its time to eat. Its probably physical hunger telling you its time to eat if you’re sensing physical cues like the little pang of hunger - followed by a kitten purr in your stomach... until there is a lion roaring in your gut! Understand that eating is necessary. There is no guilt, shame, remorse or negative feelings involved when you address physical hunger with nutritionally sound meals in proper serving sizes.


6 Ways to Address WHY you're hungry

Hints that you may be emotionally hungry:

-The feeling of hunger is experienced above your neck. (You’re mind is swimming with thoughts of sugarplums and emotionally pleasurable food.)

-You’re ‘checked-out’ emotionally and are experiencing feelings that don’t feel so good and have thoughts that food or drinks will make you feel better.

-You are avoiding something uncomfortable by putting your focus on food.

How to know if you’re physically hungry:

-The feeling of hunger is experienced below your neck.

-Its been 3+ hours since your last meal.

-You can hear your stomach barking at you for fuel.

How you feel is everything. If you don’t feel good and life is hard… and food causes you pleasure followed by pain that disrupts your mindset, lifestyle and your goals, its time to get back to the basics. Check in emotionally. Be aware of what is causing you to feel poorly and address it.