Weekly Wellness: The number one mistake people make when trying to listen to hunger cues...
If you're like most people, you probably think of yourself as someone who listens to your body. You might even consider yourself an 'intuitive eater.' But are you really following your hunger cues? Or are you making one of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to listen to their bodies? Check out this blog post to find out!

The number 1 mistake - Waiting until your stomach is growling...If you wait that long you will be in that primal state which can lead to disordered eating behaviours. Let's break down the different types of hunger and how we can start to have the actual awareness of when we are hungry.

1. Biological hunger
Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body and giving it what it needs. It's not about depriving yourself or forcing yourself to eat certain foods. So what happens when your body starts telling you that it's hungry? That's called biological hunger, and it's a perfectly normal thing. Biological hunger is your body's way of telling you that it needs energy. It usually happens when you haven't eaten in a while, and it can be relieved by eating any type of food. However, intuitive eaters know that not all hunger is created equal. Just because you're hungry doesn't mean you need to eat right away. If you're not actually physically hungry, then eating won't do anything to help. That's why intuitive eaters listen to their bodies and only eat when they're truly hungry.

2. Taste Hunger
The second type of hunger is taste hunger, which is basically cravings (craving something sweet or craving something salty, for example). When we diet, we typically ignore this type of hunger, and that can be problematic because if we rarely or never allow ourselves to give in to cravings, then when we do give in to them, we're that much more likely to overeat because we don't know when we'll have another chance to enjoy that particular food. That's why it's so important to honor your cravings!

3. Practical hunger comes into play when you, for example, eat lunch at 11 even though you normally eat at noon because you have a meeting from 11:30 to 1:30. You're anticipating the extreme hunger that you're likely going to feel at 1:30 when you get out of that meeting, and you're avoiding it. This is so important because when we get really, really hungry, we are usually less likely to listen to our fullness cues, leading to overeating.

4. Emotional Hunger
We've all been there: standing in front of the fridge, staring blankly at the contents, not really sure what we're looking for but knowing that we're hungry. This experience is often referred to as "emotional hunger." Unlike physical hunger, which is driven by a need for nutrients, emotional hunger is triggered by stress, boredom, or other negative emotions. When we're feeling emotionally hungry, we're not actually craving food; instead, we're seeking comfort or distraction. Intuitive eating is an approach to nutrition that encourages people to tune into their bodies and eat when they're physically hungry. By contrast, emotional eating is characterized by impulse and mindless consumption. If you find yourself standing in front of the fridge more often than you'd like, it may be time to explore your relationship with food. With a little awareness and effort, it's possible to break the cycle of emotional eating and develop a healthier relationship with food.

Although we’ve only scratched the surface of each type of hunger, I hope this video has given you a better understanding of what drives your eating habits. As always, if you have any questions or want to discuss your own struggles with food, feel free to reach out. I am here to help! And remember, there is no “right” way to eat – as long as you’re listening to your body and giving it the foods that make it happy, you’re doing great. What type of hunger do you struggle with the most?

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