10 Hunger Types and Ways to Control Them

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Sep 08, 2014

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Yes, hunger has its types and there are ways you can control different types of hunger. It is always better to know you are fighting against in order to win over it.
  • 1

    The Mysterious Hunger

    Your hunger is no less than a mystery. There are days when you eat what’s on your plate without bothering much and on others you eat like your stomach is an empty tank. We understand your confusion; the good news is that you aren’t the only one feeling like that. This is because most of us mistake our hunger with appetite; former being the physical need to eat while latter being the desire to eat. To eat mindfully and maintain your weight, you must decode the signs of your brain and learn the different types of hunger- from real to boredom to stress.

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  • 2

    Real Hunger

    This tells you when you must eat. Low blood sugar, headache, low energy, a grumbling sound from stomach are all physical signs of real hunger. Many of us wait to eat until a hunger emergency arises and then eat whatever comes in our sight. Be prepared for this hunger emergency all the time by keeping snacks in your bag, or in the office drawer.

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  • 3

    TV Hunger

    What could go better with your favourite reality show than a bag of chips, nachos or pizza to munch on? Of course, most of us are culprits. In fact, according to a 2013 review of studies printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who are distracted while eating consume more calories, not just in the particular moment, but also until hours later. Before you turn on that TV, realise how hungry you are and eat only according to that. In case you can’t help yourself, busy your hands in doing something else while you watch your favourite show.

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  • 4

    Bored Hunger

    All of you, who eat when you are bored, raise your hands. We can bet all of us have our hands up right now. It goes like “What do I do? Let me see what’s in the fridge”. And there you go. This happens because we lack the ability to tolerate boredom and instead display a knee-jerk reaction to killing our time with something. What better than eating? Well, you could actually relax when you are feeling bored. Read a magazine or pet your cat, take a nap or connect with your family and friends. Just don’t raid the fridge or order home delivery.

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  • 5

    Hangry Hunger

    Well, the word “hangry” is a combination of “hungry” and “anger”. You feel this type of hunger when your blood sugar goes low and causes fuzzy-headed thinking and irritability. An Ohio State University research found that married people with low blood sugar levels are at increased chances of acting aggressively towards their spouses. Feeling hangry might make you to pick up a sugary snack for instant energy, but spare your relationship and waistline a horror. Instead, reach for a healthy carb like a fruit or a whole grain cookie to restore your blood sugar levels.

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  • 6

    Afternoon Hunger

    By 3 p.m. our energies are dipping, we are anticipating the end of the work day, and if it’s been a few hours since lunch, we have started to think how good those extra burst cheese pizzas are. And within a few minutes, we have placed our extra value meals. It happens to all of us and our best shot at curbing an afternoon hunger is to plan for it. Keep a healthy snack ready in your drawer. A study published in the journal Appetite found that a snack that is high in protein content helps to feel full longer until dinner. This will reduce the amount you will eat for your next meal. Nuts, cheese crackers, and Greek yogurts are smart choices.

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  • 7

    Stress Hunger

    Stress makes us less picky about food we are eating. So, our mind doesn’t really care if we are gorging on a packet of chips instead of the Greek yogurt. A trick to avoid this can be to focus on the health benefits of the snack you are choosing to eat when stressed. A 2014 research in the Journal of Consumer Psychology advices that you remember your goal of losing 10 pounds in four months or lowering your blood pressure so that your brain doesn’t make an indulgent but a wise choice.

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  • 8

    PMS Hunger

    PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome is the period of a few days before you are about to get your period and your hormones are changing. This may increase your appetite and cravings. And there gets your diet knocked on its head. But, this doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. Pay attention to hunger cues while you are PMS-ing and eat a bit more if the hunger pangs are real. As soon as the symptoms of PMS will die, you will find your eating balance again.

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  • 9

    Head Hunger

    As they say, it’s all in the head. You aren’t hungry or tired or stressed or having PMS but still you want to eat. Probably you are trying to delay a project at work or you are just taking a break and eating seems to be the most productive choice. Whenever you face this situation, ask yourself what you want the food to do for you. Use the answer you get to decide if you really need to eat.

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  • 10

    Eye Hunger

    You walk into the kitchen to get some water and you find a tray of cookies left over at the slab. You are sure to take one right? Well, pause and think before you do that. This pause will hamper your habit of taking a treat and eat it without enjoying it. During this pause, decide if you want to skip it or eat it. A guilt feeling makes us eat things really fast so that we can get over with them... and then we need some more to soothe the guilty thoughts. The logic says, sure one cookie won’t make you gain weight, but gulping down four out of shame on regular basis will.

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  • 11

    Celebration Hunger

    Birthday cake, pizza, soda, burgers, meat- everything’s there when you are eating with friends and family on a special occasion and there’s nothing wrong with it. Food lets us bond with others but indulging isn’t the only way to celebrate. The frequent wine-drinking and appetizer sharing can be swapped with a walking date or window shopping through the town. Next time, take your sister out for a pedicure instead of a big meal out.

     Image Courtesy: Getty

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