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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Hellermann, RDN

How to Honor Your Hunger: An Intuitive Eating Principle

Learn About Intuitive Eating Principle #2, How To Honor Your Hunger

Properly nourishing our bodies with sufficient energy and nutrients is crucial to prevent overeating. When we neglect to do so, it can lead to feelings of excessive hunger and diminish our intentions for conscious eating. Contrary to the diet culture narrative, hunger is not something to fear or suppress. It is an innate bodily function that indicates our need for sustenance and helps maintain life.

What does “honoring your hunger” mean? This is a key principle of Intuitive Eating and it teaches us to pay attention to how your body tells you it's hungry.

Hunger can manifest as various bodily sensations such as…

  • Stomach growls

  • Drowsiness 

  • Headaches

  • Lightheadedness

Hunger can also impact your mood and emotions by impairing concentration due to a growing need for sustenance. This can sometimes manifest as being “hangry”. 

Here’s some tips to start leaning into your hunger in a more positive way.

  1. Get in tune with your body’s needs. 

Evaluate your hunger experience. Increasing awareness of your body’s physical experiences is a crucial step in becoming a more intuitive eater. 

Is your experience pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral? If unpleasant, perhaps try asking yourself what steps can you take to make it a positive experience going forward? 

Do you experience a different outcome by trying the same hunger exercise outside your normal routine?

  1. Approach your hunger with curiosity. 

Being curious about your hunger can lead to new self-discoveries. This new understanding may lead to more self-compassion, and an open mind. Tuning in with your body’s hunger cues takes time, but it’s worth it. 

One way to test out this curiosity is to use the Hunger and Fullness Scale. As you gain some more awareness of your hunger cues and fullness cues, you can use this scale to identify what each cue means for you.

Hunger and Fullness Scale

  1. Rejecting the diet culture.

Diet culture permeates our society with all the fad diets and messages about how we should look and feel. The diet mentality can lead to very black and white thinking about food, focusing more on weight gain/loss rather than helping people develop a healthier relationship with food.

Learning about Intuitive Eating is one way to reject diet culture and adopt a healthier mindset shift when it comes to what and how we eat.

Wherever you are on your wellness journey, increasing our awareness of physical sensations is a beautiful way to honor yourself and honor your hunger!

If you’d like to learn more about how Intuitive Eating can be applied to your life, feel free to make a free consultation with our holistic, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Marissa Hellermann.

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