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What Are You Hungry For?
April 09, 2013

What Are You Hungry For?

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
  —Mother Teresa 

Hunger is more than a growling or gnawing feeling in the pit of our stomach. That is true physical stomach hunger, but hunger takes many forms. We often experience other forms of hunger and translate them into a hunger for food. If we are to recover from overeating, we need to become familiar with all the forms of hunger and how we might be experiencing them in our lives. Then, we can satisfy our deeper hungers and appetite for life.

What are some of the other forms of hunger?

Head Hunger is when we think we should eat something but we’re not really hungry.  Or we may choose to eat something we don’t really want but think we should (for example, a diet food); but the truth is we want something else. Our mind is making the decisions here, not our real hunger.  

Habit Hunger is the habit of eating because we normally do (for example, a meal time), even though we’re not really hungry. We’re eating out of habit. We often do this in front of the TV at night or on the computer.

Eye Hunger is when we see something delicious (for example, a pastry in a shop window) and we want to eat it, though we’re not hungry.

Taste Hunger is when we want to keep eating something because it tastes so good, even though we aren’t hungry. Or we want to sample and taste certain foods though we’re not hungry.

Hormonal Hunger is when we experience PMS and find ourselves temporarily craving sweets and extra food. It may also result from pregnancy or menopause.

Blood Sugar Hunger is the hunger that comes from not eating enough throughout the day to sustain our blood sugar levels. This can cause us to become ravenous and crave sweets and carbohydrates. It may also result from excess insulin levels, causing leptin resistance, a hormone that regulates feelings of fullness and satiety.

Addiction Hunger comes from eating a lot of refined sugar and fatty foods and craving them. The more we eat them, the more we crave and want them. This isn’t real hunger.

Deprivation Hunger results from strict dieting or malnourishment from an eating disorder, fasting, or an illness. The body begins to crave food, usually in the form of carbohydrates, fats and refined sugars. This is a true and deep hunger that will take a while to resolve with good nutrition and adequate food intake.

Sleep Hunger results from not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can cause out of control cravings and hunger.

Stress Hunger results from the release of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body, causing out of control cravings and hunger. We also may become overstimulated and overeat to numb out.

Withdrawal Hunger results when we deprive ourselves of certain foods or food groups. This results in our craving and then going overboard with them. We may or may not be actually hungry for these foods.

Water Hunger is when we’re actually dehydrated but we eat food instead.  People who don’t drink enough water often misinterpret thirst or dehydration signals for hunger. This can be eliminated by drinking water throughout the day.

Body Hunger is a hunger to connect with our physical self. We may be living in our head, feeling disconnected, and ignoring our body’s need for attention and care. We may have a hunger for touch, sex, or movement.

Emotional Hunger is when we are hungry for emotional nourishment and we translate this into overeating. We confuse food with love. No amount of overeating will satisfy what we are really wanting: human connection, love, nurturance, and caring. This requires learning to nurture ourselves and getting our needs met in a healthier manner.

Intellectual Hunger is caused by being bored, stagnant, and disengaged in our lives. We may be passive observers of life, not living with purpose and passion or utilizing our gifts and talents.  We’re on autopilot, cruising through our lives. We’re hungry for stimulation, growth, and new challenges.

Creative Hunger is a hunger for personal expression via art, craft, music, writing, or some other creative pursuit.

Social Hunger is a hunger for social connection. We may be lonely and lack friendships and a sense of community. We feel isolated and apart from the rest of the world.

Spiritual Hunger is experienced as a deep emptiness inside. We have a large hole inside of us needing to be filled by God, our True Self, or a Higher Power. No amount of food can fill this hole. All human beings have a hunger for self-actualization. We need to develop a spiritual practice so that we can become filled with the fruits of the Spirit.

Now that we know the different forms of hunger, we can determine what we’re truly hungry for.

What hungers do you need to satisfy today?

Are you hungry to stop overeating and begin living your best life? How you do food is how you do life!®  Contact me for a free consultation!

Feast for the Eyes - Photo by Catherine L. Taylor

Reflective Questions 

  • What hungers in my life are still unfulfilled?

  • Do I translate my need for comfort, affection, and nurturance into a desire for sweets and other treats?

  • What would happen if I began to seek out other ways to meet these needs? Why don't I?

  • Has turning to food to meet other needs kept me from isolated from others? Does overeating keep me safe?

Weekly Affirmations

I engage my appetite for life.

I am hungry to fulfill my potential. 

I hunger to be reunited with my authentic self.

My appetite is my passion for life.

Following my passions will lead to my fulfillment.

I am hungry for new experiences and growth.

Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to master your weight and your life?

If so, you may be a candidate for coaching. Coaching can make the difference between success and failure.

I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.

This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.

The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®

I coach and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction, mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self esteem and body image issues.

Note: My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of you.

What you call this place -- God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom, or True Self -- is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you back to the truths that are already inside of you.

If you want to know more about why and how coaching works click here.

Contact me for a free consultation!

I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what's working for you and read about your success stories.

Many Blessings,


Catherine L. Taylor's
How You do Food is How You do Life!®

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©2013 Catherine L. Taylor. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reprinted in any form without express permission from the author.

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