Do you know the difference between mouth hunger and stomach hunger?

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

Being able to tell them apart will make a big difference in your weight loss journey.

Choices (Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay)

How did you feel?

Think about the last time you emptied a carton of ice cream or bag of chips in one sitting. Then think about the last time you ate a healthy meal and left it feeling not stuffed, but satisfied.


Think about the differences in how you were feeling before each occasion and whether your emotions played a role in what or how much you ate?


We call the desire to reward or soothe your feelings with food, “mouth hunger”. We call the empty feeling you have in your stomach between meals “stomach hunger”.



If you eat only when you feel stomach hunger and just to the point of feeling satisfied, your body will find a healthy weight, naturally. If you respond to hurt feelings, disappointment or boredom with food then you will likely eat more than your body needs. Also, you are unlikely to drown your sorrows in celery, so dollars to donuts, those extra calories will be empty.


The answer is simply one of increased consciousness.

By checking in with your feelings before you eat, you will be able to respond to stomach hunger with food and to mouth hunger with tactics like talking to your best friend about what’s eating at you, or journaling, or going for a walk or taking a bubble bath.


These are all good examples of productive strategies for soothing your feelings.


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