Types of Hunger
There are many types of hunger.
The first one is a calorie hunger. You want calories. You are starving. It hurts. Your stomach makes noises. You will eat anything you can find. In extreme cases, your glands get swollen and then your stomach get swollen too. Have you seen the pictures of starving children in Africa???
This kind of hunger is rare in developed countries unless it is in areas of extreme poverty. In developed countries, I suggest we have “pleasure hunger.”
What is that?
It is when you feel hungry for something. Anything. Salty or sweet or sour. Like a pregnant woman you get anxious and feel hungry, but in reality you have enough fat on your body to last you some time. So the real need for calories is not there.
You are hungry for…..pleasure.
It is the taste buds that want pleasure. And like a spoiled kid they nag you and demand satisfaction here and now. And when that happens we behave like an addicted person. I am one of those. I will cheat and lie, but must get a fix because “I am hungry.” At night, I tell my wife I am going to the bathroom while I sneak to the kitchen looking for something, anything that will satisfy my need for tasting pleasure.
And that is how I get fat, or why I cannot keep the weight off no matter how many different diets I try.
It is a hunger to please my taste buds.
How to know which type of hunger has taken over?
Ask yourself: would I eat anything or am I looking for something specific, even though I do not know what it is?
If the answer is anything, you are really hungry and it is hunger for calories. If, on the other hand, you are searching for something specific, you are experiencing pleasure hunger.
What to do?
Willpower does not work. It will not overcome pleasure hunger. At least not in my case.
Carry something with you all the time that is small, tasty and non- perishable. When the urge comes, and those terrorizing taste buds start hounding you, just pay the price and satisfy them with the fewest possible calories.
Now watch it. What you are experiencing might not be pleasure hunger but weight loss hunger and the solution above will not work.
What is weight loss hunger?
When you are on a diet, there comes a time when you do start losing weight. You start consuming your fat reserves. The brain does not like it. The brain feels “hey, hey, we are using the reserves here which we need to survive. Stop this reduction of calories. This is dangerous. Get food immediately.”
In this case, if you consume something to reduce your hunger, you are defeating your attempt to lose weight. You have to fight the urge off and hold on. As a matter of fact, you should enjoy the experience. You are losing weight.
There is one more type of hunger. It is the comfort hunger. It is when you are stressed and anxious and start looking for something that will reward you. Usually it is something that is rich in calories.
Go get a massage. Reward yourself differently.
You should know which hunger you have because each one requires a different strategy to deal with it.
Good luck. This is not easy.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes