What does it mean to feel truly hungry? There are different types of sensations we may feel and identify as hunger, but that aren't actually resolved with food.
- CPIR hunger: Cephalic Phase Insulin Response is hunger we feel in the presence of food. This is basically the conditioning that Pavlov teaches. Food is present, therefore we feel hunger, therefore we should eat.
- Social/peer pressure hunger: When we are with others who are eating, we may receive a hunger signal whether or not others explicitly invite or pressure us to join in the social act of eating. This is one of the most difficult to overcome when our friends/family don’t understand our goals or reasons for eating the way we do.
- Addiction hunger: This is emotional AND physical hunger that is usually brought on by eating the wrong combinations of food. Typically caused by excessive carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates trigger insulin response, which tends to inspire cravings for even more carbohydrates.
- Metabolic dysfunction hunger: Metabolic dysfunction hunger occurs with a low glycemic event. That happens because the food you eat cannot sustain your energy needs between meals. You get shaky, lightheaded, feel cognitively impaired, and these unpleasant sensations don’t go away until you get the “fix”—usually with fast-acting sugary or carb-heavy foods.
- Stress/emotional hunger: We feel stressed or any other number of emotions and our impulse is to reach for food we believe is going to either soothe us, make us feel happy, reward us, comfort us, or entertain us. Such foods almost never deliver the emotional reward it promises. Usually, we end up feeling worse.
These different hungers may happen on their own or in combination. The key to not eating in response to these stimuli is recognizing when they are happening and seeking out our real needs—needs that cannot be fulfilled with food.
If you need help overcoming an emotional or disordered relationship with food or identifying the real needs that trigger hunger symptoms, consider joining the next Food Addiction and Recovery group from Ketogenic Lifestyle Coaching.
Mary Roberts is one of our Ketogenic Lifestyle Coaches. Our ketogenic coaches help clients achieve habit change via coaching. Your keto coach is happy to work with you to best support your goals. Learn more about Ketogenic Lifestyle Coaching or start your coaching plan today.