4 Misleading Hunger Signals You have to Avoid


*SHOCKING* Why You Shouldn’t Only Eat When You’re Hungry!

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“Most of the time when you think you’re hungry, it’s because you are,” says Gans. It’s hard to define what hunger feels like, since it’s different for everyone. Lightheadedness, dizziness, an empty or growling stomach, irritability and the inability to concentrate are all common signs of hunger, and it’s important to be in tune with these cues. Here are 5 misleading hunger signals.

Misleading Hunger Signals after Bariatric Surgery Bariatric patients often confuse the signals of real hunger and misleading hunger. To eat naturally, the way a baby does, eat when your hunger is at 3 or 4. Don’t wait until your hunger gets down to 1 or 2. Getting too hungry can lead to overeating. When you sit down to a scheduled meal, stop and think how hungry you are.

If you feel less hungry than usual, make a conscious effort to eat less food than usual. Hunger Comes From Your Mind, Not Just Your Stomach You might think you get hungry when your stomach is empty. It’s not that simple. Posted Nov 26, 2014.

When hunger strikes, you are less likely to reach for them. Recognize what foods you crave often and why you crave them. Is there a pattern? Work at controlling portion sizes and balancing your meals. Eat slow to savor your food and give your body time to recognize fullness.

Eat in a peaceful and attentive space to avoid distractions. Hunger, Fullness, and Appetite Signals; Top of the page. Hunger, Fullness, and Appetite Signals. Topic Overview.

Normally, this feeling causes you to stop eating and not think about food again for several hours. Fullness is partly controlled by the hypothalamus, your blood sugar, and having food in your stomach and intestines. Ideally, you want to start eating when your hunger is at about a 3 or 4—when your stomach is growling a little and you feel ready to eat. And you want to stop when you’re at about a 5 or 6, which means that you’re satisfied and pleasantly full. It’s amazing how this little exercise can help to put you back in touch with your body.

When. Once you’re clear on how hunger manifests for you, you’re prepared to tune in. Envision a scale from 1 to 10 — 1 meaning you’re barely hungry and 10 you’re ravenous. Set a goal to start preparing your food when you’re at about a 2, allowing yourself enough time to cook or pick up a meal before your hunger impacts your mood and.

Real hunger is brought on by a true need for food and develops gradually over time. You can wait to eat if you need to, and once you have eaten until your stomach is full you can stop eating. With real hunger, you feel a need to eat, but not necessarily any one particular food.

Well, let me introduce you to some hormones that do just those things: the “hunger hormones,” leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite.

List of related literature:

The three major signals for hunger are low levels of glucose (glucoprivic hunger), low levels of fats (lipoprivic hunger), and the release of ghrelin synthesized in the stomach (low level of stomach nutrients).

“Study Guide to Accompany Bob Garrett’s Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology” by Bob Garrett
from Study Guide to Accompany Bob Garrett’s Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology
by Bob Garrett
SAGE Publications, 2014

Perhaps the biggest one is avoiding extreme hunger which can occur when meals are spaced out too far.

“The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook: A Scientific Approach to Crash Dieting” by Lyle McDonald
from The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook: A Scientific Approach to Crash Dieting
by Lyle McDonald
Lyle McDonald, 2005

The physical signals available to interoceptive awareness include hunger signals, such as the stomach growling and low blood sugar; experiences of physical fullness and body satiety; and experience of taste and taste satiety (Capaldi, 1996; Ogden, 2010).

“Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook” by Donald McCown, Diane Reibel, Marc S. Micozzi
from Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook
by Donald McCown, Diane Reibel, Marc S. Micozzi
Springer International Publishing, 2017

The physical signals of hunger are modulated by the hormone ghrelin (Wren 2001).

“The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.” by Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg
from The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.
by Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg
VeloPress, 2017

I had to overcome all of those things that advertise your hunger: the growling of your stomach or a headache or visions of your favorite foods.

“Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom” by Rubin Hurricane Carter, Ken Klonsky, Nelson Mandela
from Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom
by Rubin Hurricane Carter, Ken Klonsky, Nelson Mandela
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, 2011

When this combined chemical signal becomes loud enough, the hypothalamus initiates a satiety reflex throughout the brain, and you consciously feel full enough to stop eating — at least, until your stomach empties and another round of ghrelin is released, touching off yet another cycle of hunger and satiety.

“The End of Food” by Paul Roberts
from The End of Food
by Paul Roberts
Houghton Mifflin, 2008

For example, episodes can be identified as hunger violations (waited until very hungry to start eating), satiety violations (continued to eat past moderate sensations of stomach fullness), or both.

“Psychopathology: History, Diagnosis, and Empirical Foundations” by W. Edward Craighead, David J. Miklowitz, Linda W. Craighead
from Psychopathology: History, Diagnosis, and Empirical Foundations
by W. Edward Craighead, David J. Miklowitz, Linda W. Craighead
Wiley, 2013

Besides, when you listen to your genuine hunger cues, there’s no reason to eat nonstop anyway.

“The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality” by Phil McGraw
from The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality
by Phil McGraw
Bird Street Books, 2015

In Step 5, you learn to resist and control the interactions between food and mood, the reasons we eat other than hunger.

“Way to Eat: A Six-step Path to Lifelong Weight Control” by Maura Harrigan Gonzalez
from Way to Eat: A Six-step Path to Lifelong Weight Control
by Maura Harrigan Gonzalez
Ebsco Publishing, 2002

Moreover people who report that their eating is guided by their bodily sensations (i.e., they only eat when hungry) are less likely to overindulge in food in the absence of hunger and are also less likely to allow contextual emotional or situational cues to influence their food intake (Birch, Fisher, & Davison, 2003).

“Handbook of Psychophysiology” by John T. Cacioppo, Louis G. Tassinary, Gary G. Berntson
from Handbook of Psychophysiology
by John T. Cacioppo, Louis G. Tassinary, Gary G. Berntson
Cambridge University Press, 2016

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Very good list. I agree with each of them.I think keeping the entire list visible during the video was a very effective way of delivery. Simple ideas but it never hurts to hear them again. Thanks.

  • I eat 1 whole wheat brown slice of bread with some peanut butter on it, 1 egg (boiled/ fried/srambled) and black coffee without sugar.

  • Wow this was an excellent and very informative video! I have problems controlling my hunger and the worst factors for me are stress, sugar, and eating when I’m bored. So I really need to get these in check to maintain a healthy weight! This video was very eye-opening as I wasn’t aware there were so many hunger triggers! I’m also going to check out your 1-day meal plan to get some ideas for the types of food mentioned for fiber, protein and good fats. thanks!!

  • I have 3 comments for this video Anthony. 1-I am fed up of researches that changes frequently, lol. 1st we eat 3 meals then no, eat 6 frequent meals, then back to 3 with 1 snack. I know human biology is hard to understand. 2-I don’t know how to control my depression and cortisol, I am always stressed, evwn planning meals and workouts will stress me and I sometimes feel hungry others feel no need to eat, so depression sucks:(. 3-I dont know how to organize sleep, i feel sleep hardly and sometimes wake up ti sounds or nightmares:(. Extra question:how to get rid of meds like antidepressants, being important to continue for at lwast 6 months, if sfopped u worsen.:(

  • I haven’t walked in 13 years wheelchair (manual) I eat a boiled egg every morning and only weigh 167 lbs eggs I thank for making me fill full! just so ya know the whole eggs do work

  • OMG, man, you have hit the spot with this information! I’m looking around my house for “good” food just an hour ago since I’ve decided to lose weight and realizing I’m never gonna make it unless I get my butt to the store and get the right foods. Good point about sleep too. I’ve not slept well lately and I keep getting up to eat! So I just went and refilled my water bottle… I knew most of this, but it’s good to be reminded because all I’m thinking is..FOOD! Right on time with that video man. Right on time.

  • hi…it looks like that this vid @ 0:07:42 is in conflict with earlier vid 10 Foods You Should Never Eat @ 0:06:06…or am I missing something here???

  • Great information on why you are hungry. Water is good for you. My son is a big man and he drinks a gallon of water a day and he don’t drink alcohol. This video will help a lot of people.

  • I had oat meal because I want to lose wait and I did now I’m really skinny I used to be 50.3 k but now I’m 20.1 k yay I’m so happy

  • This probably doesn’t relate to the video but since I can’t find any video to answer my question, I guess I’ll just ask in the comment and I hope that someone can give answer to me.

    I have a thin body with 39kg and 150cm height. So i don’t really have any problem on worrying what should I eat (well I still have to worry but not in that kind of weight problem). But I kinda notice that my weight has been decreasing lately. When I was 15, I remember that my weight was 41kg and when I was 16, it started to decrease by 1kg and I’m now 17 with 39kg. And I dont understand why is this happening because I’m sure I eat a lot like I take a lot of meals in one time. I sometimes skip early breakfast. Most of the times, I eat heavy food late night such as instant noodles. And I never try dieting in my whole life. So, my point is, is it normal to experience weight loss with my eating habit? I don’t feel like I’m unhealthy but I just feel like I’m getting thinner every year. So yeah, just wanna ask is it normal, because I don’t find anyone explaining this and I’m just curious.

  • There is something wrong here about alcohol. Whenever I drink like whiskey or anything like that I lose my appetite. Also, coffee is another thing that ruins my appetite.

  • Great talk. It’s the empty calories, stupid. People who are well-nourished don’t need to eat. When you need nourishment, that’s when you need hunger.

  • Wow the sleep thing explains so much, I’ve spent years not getting enough sleep, I also have an anxiety disorder so I’m always stressed and I’m always hungry even when I’m eating more then enough

  • Number 2 in the list is destroying my gains. Keep tossing around in the bed, not enough sleep which leads to constantly tired and hungry. Insane fact: the best time of my life when I was in great physique when I was sleeping 10 hours a day. Imagine 10 hours of fat burning and no calories going into your mouth

  • Ah, yes! As someone with a very large appetite, I can relate to this but it’s also nice to see there are ways to make it easier to cope with.

  • Good job. So many angles of attack. Something or a combination of things is bound to make a noticeable difference.
    What worked the best me for was low carb (almost) keto. If you stopped and actually measured the simple carbs you ingest in a day, you could easily get by on half or less and watch the lbs. melt off.

  • okie dokie…. so nothing here for older ladies full of raging hormones who is going through lots of fun changes and thyroid issues, changes in iron and b vitamins omg right now my body hates me… I am stressed to the gills, cannot sleep am starting the “change of life”.. am not there yet but hormones are starting to change ( I am 51) seeing a dietitian on a reg basis who says see a therapist and hope for the best my diet is excellent.. I cannot drink had brain surgery and it altered my body chemistry so now I am allergic to booze and have not touched it in 13 yrs, I do not smoke and do not do drugs. I exercise reg and walk my dogs a couple of times a day and still have managed to put on weight on 1200 calories a day… do not dare say it is because I am eating tooooo little because I eat anything out of line I put on three lbs and it is hell to get it off… I am always hungry.. I go to bed hungry, wake up hungry even after I eat I am hungry so I know it is not because I am hungry or thirsty it is cause my body hates me… I have looked this up and I am not the only woman experiencing this and was hoping your little chat would help.. but nope.. you had nothing new to say heard it allllllll before.. I am sure you will do many good but I will keep on looking

  • I think we need to keep the idea of “subjectivity” uppermost in our minds when thinking about palatability/hyperpalatability. I know for a fact that when I put spices on my meat and poultry I eat a LOT more, so it does make a big difference in how much I eat then, and at the next meal as I crave that same level of palatability. Before I stopped consuming anything plant-based, I would heavily coat my chicken wings in granulated garlic and cayenne pepper before baking and could eat 20 whole wings (40 pieces) on my own. Now that I add just a little salt, I can’t eat that amount any more. To each their own, but it was a very informative video with the right amount of irony and sarcasm to make it entertaining, as well.

  • I’m watching this for the second time after a year or so. This really is a great talk. Of course it only has less than 7,000 views.

  • I find that the heavier breakfast I have, like oatmeal or eggs, makes me hungry again sooner than anything else.
    Yogurt… And what if it sounds, tastes, and smells like the Ranjeet thing on the planet? I’m certain that “just [adding] some fruit to it” will have no effect! ��

  • If we let our bodies direct prudently, and being aware of our bodies physical indicators, and, response indicators to the things we consume,… and, we have the clear focus of living to perform and enjoy life, being healthy, all simultaneously, variable per ones definition,… we each can understand, know, find, what works for each of us, variable per our individual circumstances.

  • Yes, I can hear my stomach showing my physical and emotional hunger and thirst and telling when to eat and drink protein, dairy, sweets, fruits, vegetables, grain, and water for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert.

  • This is really best video to stop being hungry. Very interesting and useful video. i will definitely give a try. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Great video! I’m still soo confused because I have been eating just the same as always but lately I’m suffering from aching hunger pains. dies anyone no why?

  • I’m watching this because I have sleeping problems and I can’t eat in the middle of the night because it’s not healthy
    I’ll always fall asleep at like 1-5am and then wake up at 8-11am I’m usually fine with short amounts of sleep but then I’ll fall asleep at 6-10pm but I always wake up 4 hours later and can’t get back to sleep, why
    I need help
    Most 13 year olds should go to sleep at about 9-10pm and I do but when I do I’ll wake up a few hours after
    So I usually will go to sleep after midnight

  • It’s amazing wow Its very helpful video. I know that is really to stop being hungry. So I try this formula. Thanks for sharing this information. Thanks

  • It takes me 2 weeks to stop my brain hormones from bitching about food. After that, I have control. My best advice is find things you like to eat that aren’t dense in calories, carbs and fats. You can have small snacks throughout your day to combat the hunger pangs while you’re drinking a great amount of water. Which btw water is really helpful to get that “full” feeling. I drink two cups of water before and after I eat my meals.

  • I didn’t even think about the diet soda or drinking more water. That was something that I was surprised about. My thing is that I have been sleeping 8 hours a night, I’m not a very stressed person, I eat everything I am supposed to and actually have not been eating sugar at all. So I have been wondering why I have been still hungry. Like my stomach growls after a full meal. I eat 1500 1600 cals a day and work out with mostly strength training and then add cardio in twice a week. So I could not understand what has been messing with me. I am going to see about not drinking diet soda today and continue it as often as possible. I will also work to drink more water as opposed to coffee or milk. Thank you for this, I know it’s for guys, but for me I needed answers and I feel this gave it to me. <3

  • haven’t tried it brightside always right um sure every morning I have to eat spinach and sugarless tea for breakfast with spicy chicken. And I might eat green tea eggs and avocado for snacks. I guess desert includes my dark chocolate…

    Thank you Cherub Kharbanda

  • @Danny Albers… Birdseed brigade? Do you know anything about this guy? He advocates eating like a predator… flesh. Birdseed would only be used to entice plump pigeons.

  • Another fantastic video explained with such ease which only a highly educated person can. You have changed my lifestyle, thanks!!

  • I’m not seeing how he answered the last question about avoiding falling into the trap, rather he just questioned what is technically paleo or not

  • This is great. I’m literally always hungry. The point about stress is really important to me. I’m gonna try to reduce my stress and seee if that helps

  • I’ve recently been having problems with always being hungry all the time. So I’m glad you made this video. I’m going to use what I learned from this video to help me stop being hungry. Thanks for this awesome video!!!

  • You are so beautiful and mesmerizing, i remember you and had a huge crush on you since the time you were doing the show high Life Dubai. the episode with Benazir Bhutto was the first time i saw you. Are You Single now?

  • @ 0:37 you said 2009, but the video said 2019. Was that a typo? Your reference is now inaccurate. It’s a great video however. Thank you.

  • wow I didn’t know so many factors affect hunger, very scientific and detailed analysis that is a tremendous help, thanks for talking about this subject.

  • And when I do, my stomach sounds forte when empty, mezzo when half-empty, piano when half-full, and quiet when full of healthy foods, drinks, and fresh air.

  • There’s some great advice here it’s inspired me to have a fresh look at healthy fats and try a few more avocados and nut portions. I’ll also have a look at your meal plan for some recipe ideas. Keep up the good work.

  • This is very informative and well described. It’s easy to understand all the points being made about being hungry I enjoyed it a lot and will share what I learned with all my friends.

  • omg i thought people just need to eat when we feel hungry ��‍♀️ gosh thank you so much, now i can eat without any guilt and more confident to eat ��

  • Interesting talk and I have some feedback:

    Make your points explicitly and not by imply theories with irony.
    Explain what satiety and satiation means.
    Make use of anecdotes to illustrate theories as stories convey more than ideas.
    I was left a bit confused at the end of the talk about what you were trying to communicate.

  • @AntoineFTW Yes, large increase in total sugar consumption form the late 70s to the mid 80s.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Sweetener_Consumption,_1966-2012.svg.

  • I dropped a lot of weight but have been struggling again lately because I’m so hungry all the time due to some medication changes. It’s good to know there are things that I can do.

  • I dont think coffee and green tea are good for us. Animal products cause cancer (The China Study has proven that). Protein rich diet can be dangerous for our livers.

  • I have weetabix and a banana, coffee in the morning and that seems to work, I don’t eat for 10 hours till I get back home from work.

  • I’ve been trying an intermittent fasting diet for the past while but have really struggled with always feeling hungry. I had no idea that sleep and stress were such a big factor! Great information as always, these tips are really going to help me!

  • Very useful video, thank you. One thing though, about healthy fats, you say, have lots to quickly reach satiation and regulate blood sugar levels. Yes, BUT, fat is also the macronutrient that is the richest on calories, so to keep in caloric deficit for fat loss you want to stay really low on fats or that caloric deficit will be very hard to maintain. That’s what I was doing wrong for weeks and now I corrected my diet I can see the results immediately!

  • This makes a LOT of sense to me. It’s one of the reasons I make myself eat lunch by a certain time even if I’m not particularly hungry. It might be a lighter lunch, but I know that if I eat lunch too late, I either won’t be hungry enough for dinner OR I’ll end up eating one meal at a weird in-between time which will completely throw me off. The last thing I want is to be up at 2AM because instead of eating lunch at 2 and dinner at 8, I had one meal at 5pm. (I generally don’t snack in between meals. My work schedule has never allowed it, so I’ve gotten used to eating 3 meals a day with the occasional “dessert” after dinner).

  • Yes! Would love to listen to you expand more about eating when you’re not hungry with specific types of hunger! It’s a struggle for me because sometimes I just want to sit with my family and eat but just can’t feel hungry that often. I’m recovering from bulimia and dieting and body dimorphism. Anyway thanks for the content you create it helps a lot!:)

  • This is such a good topic. And something at times I still have some irrational thoughts around only eating when im hungry, but its just part of life… eating when your only hungry can sometimes feel like a rule. And can lead to feeling guilty if your not eating when your hungry. Its all about getting the balance. But also practical hunger what you talk about totally makes sense too, and again it takes away the food rules. Sometimes you need to eat when your not necessarily hungry to keep you going for the next meal if your not able to eat.