Okay, it sounds obvious, but it’s not always easy to tell if you’re physically hungry or not.
Emotions, your environment, and the people you’re with all play a role in whether or not you grab a snack.
But when we’re talking real hunger, you have to listen up to the physical clues: an empty, rumbling stomach or sudden sleepiness or “hanger.”
“It’s different for all of us,” says Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., an intuitive eating expert in private practice in Newport Beach, California. Other signs: feeling lightheaded, headachey, or weak.
Figuring out what true hunger feels like to you will make it easier to ID in the future. Oh, and if you’re hungry? Eat.
It’s important to know and honor your hunger cues because then you’re more likely to heed your fullness cues.
“If you respond to your hunger cues on time and with the right amount of food, you’re not living in a feast-or-famine cycle,” says Lily Nichols, R.D.N., owner of The Pilates Nutritionist. “This helps maintain more steady blood sugar levels. And you’re sending your body the signal that you respect and respond to its needs,” she says.