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11 Types of Hunger and How to Control Them

Medical data sourced by PubMed
written by Lauren Curl-Ferrell on April 30, 2021.

Many dietician experts say there are 11 types of hunger that people can experience and each can be maintained and controlled in different ways.

What exactly is hunger? It is best described as the connection between your brain and your stomach when your body craves food.

If you were to ask a dietician, they would say that there is more to expand on in that department. 

Hunger can not only affect people physically, but it can also affect them emotionally, and that is where these 11 types come from.

If you are trying to control your hunger cues, all of these can be controlled easily, but it's important to be able to recognize them so you can control them in the most effective way. If you are not trying to control your hunger cues, then go on with your bad self and live it up. 

Being able to control your hunger cues is a great way to lose weight and is beneficial when you're practicing new diet restrictions.

 

1. Visual Hunger

This is when the presentation of food appeals to you so much that you must eat it. That beautiful looking dish can make you salivate and crave to eat it. 

The Solution

If you have already satisfied your diet, the best solution and control method here is to, simply, walk away or look at other things. 

Recognize that this doesn't mean that you're actually hungry, but the look of the dish makes it seem like you are.

 

2. Mental Hunger

When you have already met your body's necessary amount of food and you crave a particular food dish or item (possibly even a snack) you experience a kind of hunger that can best be described as mental hunger. 

This type of hunger is very mood dependent, and can be a harder one to control because moods tend to fluctuate. 

The Solution

Have a hunger reality check. Are you really hungry? Or are we mentally hungry because of our mood?

Snap out of the mood that you're in and focus on doing something different.

 

3. Cellular Hunger

This type of hunger shouldn't be ignored. 

Cellular hunger is your body's way of communicating with you that you need certain essential nutrients and minerals to continue to function well.

Essentially, every cell in your body wants to grow and wants to multiply. The body needs rich sources of energy and complex food molecules, vitamins, minerals, and moisture to do this properly. 

Your body will signal exactly what it is needing and when it is needing it, but these signals are often interpreted as cravings for a particular taste.

If you struggle with understanding these, we'd recommend speaking directly to a dietician. 

The Solution

Paying attention to this is vital to staying healthy. Use vitamins that help you absorb nutrients better so there are less cellular hunger cues.

If you're thirsty, drink water. 

If you're craving dark chocolate, your body may be looking for magnesium.

Be patient, have trust, and embrace the curiosity of this hunger type. It may take weeks or months to truly learn what signs to recognize in cellular hunger.

 

4. Stomach Hunger

Do you hear that rumble in your stomach? This is one of the more interesting one with a common misconception.

Many people think that when their stomach growls that it sends a signal to your brain that you're hungry, but it's actually the other way around. 

Your brain can send you some stomach rumbles because it's time to eat rather than you actually being hungry. 

People often fail to recognize that a belly rumble can also be the sound it makes when it's going through its digestion process.

The Solution

Take a look at your food intake. This is where making sure you have enough protein and fiber in your diet is helpful. Have you already satisfied your caloric and nutrient diet for this moment of your day?

If the answer is yes, do not worry about those stomach growls. You may just be digesting.

 

5. Stress Hunger

Having a hectic lifestyle can definitely point us in the direction of stress eating. This is one of the more common causes of overeating.

The Solution

Look for ways to calm yourself, like with Stress Away, or meditation. 

Finding a solution to this could see oneself move away from unhealthy weight and move towards better heart health. 

6. Olfactory Hunger aka Nose Hunger

The whiff of lip-smacking good food can make anyone hungry.

This is such a common hunger that you'd be special if you didn't get nose hunger.

Loving the smell of tasty food doesn't mean you're actually hungry. It just means that you love the smell of food. 

The Solution

When you are eating your smell-good food, try to slow down and savor each bite. Eating slowly will be the key to this one. Savoring each bite will allow your stomach and brain to communicate the point of satisfaction or fullness sooner.

  

7. Oral Hunger

This happens when the dish you're eating tastes so good that you just can't stop eating. Your taste buds are screaming out how tasty this food is and it makes you crave more.

Thats the key to controlling it, is recognizing that it's simply a craving. 

 

The Solution

Review your diet, recognize where you're at with your caloric and/or nutrition goal, and then assess when you need to stop eating. Take a look at your protein and fiber sources.

It can be hard to walk away, but start training your mind to realize that it's only a craving and not a necessity. 

 

8. Heart Hunger

This hunger can be classified as that feeling you get when you want ice cream because it is hot, or soup when it is cold. 

It is the type of hunger that establishes because the weather or occasion seems fit for it. 

 

The Solution

You don't need to ignore this type of hunger, just do not overdue it. This is one of those "treat yourself" situations and if your body can do that, go for it. 

Simply focus on a smaller portion so that it is small enough to not cause a great deal of chaos to your diet. If your diet doesn't allow that type of food, then try to find a similar food within your diet that will satisfy that occasion-based hunger. 

Make popsicles with fiber in them or drink a plant based protein fruit smoothie instead. 

 

 

9. Boredom Hunger

Got nothing to do? You may feel the best way to beat the boredom is with food, but you'd be wrong.

The Solution

Pick up a new hobby. Take a walk, write a poem, paint on canvas, but don't eat just because you're bored and that's a way to entertain yourself. Drink a sparkling water with fiber mixed into it and move to a new activity. There is lots to do. 

 

10. Late Night Cravings

Did you know that midnight snacking can be caused by an imbalance of hormones and/or stress?

“It’s not a character flaw. It’s simple biology. In functional medicine, we look at the root causes of health problems ― like how powerful hormones trigger night-time food cravings,” explains functional medicine specialist Mark Hyman, MD. 

The Solution

Eat regular meals, always eat protein with your meals, avoid sugary drinks, avoid gluten or dairy if you need to, and de-stress. (Hello, Stress Away - we are shouting you out again) Get better sleep at night with melatonin-free Power Down to help sleep or relax through the need for those midnight snacks.

 

11. Auditory Hunger

Did a bag of chips being opened make you hungry? That is called auditory hunger.

It can be difficult to shut off all noise and food talk, so remember that this is simply a craving.

You probably aren't hungry for those chips, but the noise of them being opened made you think you are.

The Solution

Wear earplugs, JUST KIDDING. Take a look at your health goals and purposes, reflect that it is a craving. Find something to distract yourself. 

 

There are other ways to curb your appetite in the supplement world

We're going to share our favorite supplement solutions to help with an overall fuller feeling to reduce the impact of these cravings.

Daily Multi Fiber

Fiber is a huge part of weight management and control. It can be hard to get the full amount of fiber that one needs on a daily basis. This fiber is composed of insoluble and soluble fiber and it is the only fiber on the market that does that.

 

Stress Away

When the body undergoes physical or emotional stress, B-vitamins are depleted quickly. When the body is forced to withstand these demands, it greatly increases the demand for B Vitamins. Coupled with Vitamin C, research has shown that a supplemental B-Complex can help alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

 

Digestive Enzyme Complex

Helps your body absorb the nutrients of food better to alleviate the need of stomach or cellular hunger cues.

 

Power Down

Helps to reduce that midnight snack feeling by promoting relaxation and a melatonin-free supplement formula.

 

Whatever hunger you're having, remember to recognize if it's a craving or a dietary need. Look at your diet and nutrition needs and assess each situation as they come.

We recommend speaking with a diet and nutritionist for individual solutions for whatever hunger cues you are needing help with.