food recovery / life

6 types of hunger, there’s a difference

I remember long summer days driving a tractor. I would pack my lunch, service tractors, and wait til I could eat.

sandwhich, fruit, diet coke, chips.

I’d spend the rest of the 8 hours in the tractor cab thinking about food. I chewed A LOT of gum over the summers. I’d get bored hungry, then REALLY hungry, then I’d be over it. By the time I got home, I really wouldn’t be all that hungry anymore.

As I continue on this journey into where I am without dieting, I have REALLY had to ask myself: What is hunger?

bored hunger

Bored hunger is a huge culprit. Especially if you’re in a lull in you feel as through there may not have much going on, you’re down, or you’re at home with no one to entertain you. I think it’s a matter of recognising this and finding ways of either accepting or distracting yourself. I usually jump in the tub, crawl into bed, or head out to the garden.

tired hunger

This is a MASSIVE trigger for me. It’s the exhausted munchies. It’s so easily masked as true hunger, when in fact you’d do ANYTHING to stop the insane amount of jobs/work/kid minding/cleaning/life-happenings that are going on. Recognise it. “I’m exhausted” and don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of coping with food. A lot of us are exhausted.

stressed hunger

Yesterday was my first shift as a nurse. I had made dark chocolate hearts with sprinkles on them. They are good, I got good dark chocolate. There was also a cookie jar…and I got a bit trapped. I was tired and stressed and there’s NOTHING more instantly exciting than popping some sugar into your system and telling yourself it’s going to be alright. It’s ok if you’re stressed. It’s learning how to enjoy a meal and not use a meal to bring enjoyment.

emotional hunger

I think that oftentimes a binge is caused by emotional storms or feelings that we either don’t know are there and/or we don’t want to admit to. I can often remember after a binge I would bawl. FINALLY the emotional release I had arguably wanted before I shoved my face…but just couldn’t get there. The burst of anger at my partner after I’ve eaten too much crap, because I’m feel frustrated and needy. This is at the core of many of our issues and I try to remind myself that I can handle any emotion.

thirsty hunger

am I hungry or am I thirsty?

real hunger

Real hunger is that hunger in your body when its a genuine truth-filled desire to re-charge with food. When it’s not about calories, points, emotions, stress, exhaustions, thirst. It’s a genuine interest in eating, a reasonable and sensible amount to deal with the physical hunger without masking anything else.

I still struggle with this. I find that if I begin to eat for another reason then to satisfy my tummy, then I need to start being honest with myself. I used to try to block it out or make deals or re-arrange calories or start over tomorrow. It was all instant anxiety reducing bargaining, it never worked. Now I try to focus on breathing, working through the trigger, and realising that my world doesn’t revolve around food to feed me if I’m not genuinely hungry.



One thought on “6 types of hunger, there’s a difference

  1. Well said. I think the tired and stressed hungers get me the most lately. I’m “working through” them, but I still succumb sometimes.
    I love that you put all this out there. It makes my own journey feel a little lighter, you know?
    So thank you :-).

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