You may have heard the term ‘head hunger’ before. Are you really hungry, or is your brain making you think you are hungry? Head hunger is an emotional type of hunger. It comes on quickly, is insistent, and you typically will crave comfort foods or another specific food. It is not related to when you ate last. Stomach hunger is a physical type of hunger in which you may feel stomach sensations, such as gurgling and growling. You may also feel lightheaded and weak if you have gone too long in between meals. It has a gradual onset, may not have one specific craving, and stops once you eat a meal.
Looking for ways to combat head hunger?
- Listen to music or a podcast
- Go to the gym or on a walk
- Get some fresh air outside
- Read a book or watch a movie
- Journal your thoughts and how you are feeling that day
- Take a bath
- Call a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Occupy your hands ie: fidget spinner, knitting, coloring
- Chew sugar free gum or a sugar free hard candy
Head hunger often takes distraction to overcome. Experts suggest that only 5 minutes of distraction can get past a “craving”. Be sure that you are paying attention to the cues for head hunger and actual stomach hunger. If you are having signs of “stomach hunger”, be sure to properly fuel yourself with a protein and fiber rich meal. Also be sure that you are adequately hydrated as improper hydration can also be confused for hunger.