How to Tell The Difference Between Head Hunger And Tummy Hunger by Georgie Beames

Do you know the difference between your ‘head hunger’ and your ‘tummy hunger’? 

Read the transcript here or skip to watch the video below.

Chances are that you might not.

And it’s a big step in the right direction to finding food freedom

Many times when I see a client and I work with women, they sort of talk to me about hunger: they feel hungry and they just love food too much. 

And I start to break it down with them to understand they vulnerable eating time and their emotional eating patterns

Then, I ask them, “Is that tummy hunger or head hunger?”. And they look at me: “What? What do you mean there are these two types of hungers?”

So, it’s really important for us to identify our hunger types and actually differentiate them because, often, we just hear that we’re hungry or we feel like we’re hungry. 

We respond to that on automatic pilot without actually tuning in and recognizing which of the hunger types it might be.

So let’s start by unpacking it. 

Let’s start with tummy hunger. 

This is where we need to place our awareness in the tummy area. 

Often we start to feel hungry anywhere from three to four hours after our last meal. Now, there’s no actual rules around this but it’s just some guidelines to help understand and distinguish between the two hunger types. 

With this hunger, it can build as well. For instance, we might hear some gurgling or the tummy rumbling. The hunger can also come in waves. And many types of food can actually satisfy us, like a sandwich or sushi. There’s a variety of food options that could satisfy us. 

This tummy hunger is what we want to honor.

When we don’t honor it, we start to get into that kind of dieting and control mindset. That can override our tummy hunger and it can create all sorts of havoc. 

So, any time we’re experiencing that tummy hunger, we want to honor that hunger. 

Now let’s talk about head hunger. 

Head hunger is quite different. 

It comes from the head rather than the tummy. And it can come on really instantly and quickly. It doesn’t build, it’s not gradual. 

For instance, head hunger is when straight after dinner, like 30 seconds afterwards, you want something really specific. As opposed to the tummy hunger where there could be many options, the head hunger wants something specific. For example, when I need the salted caramel ice cream. If it was choc chip, that’s just not going to cut it.

So, head hunger can come on instantly and it’s loud. 

During the day or next couple of days when you have these sensations of hunger, I want you to start to think where exactly it’s coming from in your body. 

I want you to pause and just be really mindful:

Is this ‘head hunger’ or is this ‘tummy hunger’? 

Starting to identify the different hunger types is step one. 

I’ve also got some more videos on how to handle head hunger. While we want to honor tummy hunger, we want to start to use a different strategy for head hunger. 

So I hope that’s been helpful. I’ve got some more information for you on this food freedom approach. If this is resonating with you, I’d love to show you this new way.


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Bye for now!