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Hunger - Group Talk - Week Commencing 18th March 2024.



Our bodies send natural signals telling us when we are hungry and when we are full, via the hormones Ghrelin and Leptin.

The symtons of hunger are more than a reminder of our next meal. Hunger is our bodies response to ffod deprivation, fasting or restricted eating, but there are other types of hunger not just physical hunger, there is emotional hunger and sensory hunger; emotional hunger can range from boredom, tiredness, depression, happiness, stress... Sensory hunger can be in response to watching television advertismen, the salty air being breathed in as walking along the beach or the bakery smells of the supermarket.


Our bodies recognise the sensation of hunger when nutrients with in the blood are low triggering the hormone Ghrelin (Hunger Hormone) to be released in the stomach/gut the chemical then travels to the brain to trigger hunger.


How do wqe recognise hunger within ourselves;

  • Stomach pain - caused by cramping and contractions

  • Craving for high-energy foods - carbohydrates

  • Empty or growling stomach

  • Grumpiness (Hangry)

  • Headache

  • Light headedness

  • Low energy

  • Shakiness or weakness


We are born to recognise hunger, however over time some of us forget to recognise the physical signs of hunger, this happens when we become distracted, stressed or as a result of persistent hardcore dieting.


Sometimes our hunger call is not for food deprivation but for hydration, and its our bodies call to remind us to drink.


When we think our bodies are hungry we need to question ourselves:-

  • when did we last drink

  • when did we last eat

  • how are we feeling/emotions

Learning how to read our bodies call for real hunger or is it an emotional trigger is an important step for supporting our weight journeys and taking care of our bodies.


By using our Journals/Trackers to record what we eat and drink it when supports our journeys but also helps us identify with our bodies, especially if we include what we where doing and how we were feeling before eating, also by using the hunger scale that can help us identify the difference between physical hunger or psychological hunger - eating through emotions or sensory hunger.


The hunger scale is used when you feel like its time to eat, the scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely hungry and 10 being so full you feel sick. A rating of 5 or 6 means you are comfortable - neither too hungry or too full.


  1. Extremely hungry, weak, dizzy.

  2. Very hungry, cranky, low energy, lots of stomach growling.

  3. Pretty hungry, stomach is growling a little.

  4. Starting to feel a little hungry.

  5. Satisfied neither hungry nor full.

  6. A little full, pleasantly full.

  7. A little uncomfortable

  8. Feeling stuffed

  9. Very uncomfortable, stomach hurts

  10. So full you feel sick


We should eat when our hunger is at 3 or 4, and we should not wait until down to 1 to 2, as that can lead to overeating.


But first check you are not thirsty, then pay attention to your bodies cues.


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