An important aspect of mindful eating is Mindful Hunger. If mindful eating is about awareness, then mindful hunger is about being aware of your hunger. It’s about noticing when you are hungry, figuring out how hungry you are, and perceiving how and when your hunger changes as you eat or drink something. There are physical signs of hunger such as: lightheadedness, growling stomach, headache, tight throat, jitteriness, queasiness, fatigue, and a hollow feeling in your gut. There are also psychological signs including: irritability, inability to concentrate, moodiness, and preoccupation with food.
When you understand your hunger signs, you can use them to determine when to eat, whether it is “mealtime” or not. Hunger is the first of your body’s guides to mindful eating. What does hunger feel like for you? Do any of the signs listed above seem familiar? Do your signs vary depending upon how hungry you might be?