What is Hunger? And How Do I Spot The Signs?

You may be reading this thinking ‘of course I know what hunger is!’. But so many of us have become out of tune with our bodies after ignoring our hunger symptoms.

Our bodies have an innate primal drive for energy from food, when we are not getting enough energy our bodies will signal this to us through powerful biological and psychological mechanisms, this is what is best known to us as the sensations of hunger. 

Hunger presents through various characteristics such as primitive sensations in the stomach, emotive states in relation to food based on liking and wanting of foods and the thoughts you have around food and eating.

Many feelings of hunger are driven by a biological drive to eat, the brain is constantly coordinating our eating behaviour with our bodies biological needs, increasing feelings of hunger where appropriate.

Ignoring hunger and attempting to trick your body e.g. drinking water or eating low calorie snacks, can make the process of eating confusing to your body.

Therefore, it’s important to get to know your bodies physical sensations, and where different sensations may appear. Any combination of the following can be experienced as hunger sensations; they may only be gentle or appear very strongly:


  • A feeling of gurgling or gnawing in the stomach

  • Growling noises from your stomach

  • Feelings of discomfort in your stomach


  • Feeling faint or light headed

  • Finding it difficult to concentrate 

  • Headaches 


  • Feeling cranky or irritated

  • Feeling low


  • Lack of energy

  • Feeling lethargic

Signs of hunger show up differently in each person so it important to not compare yourself to others.

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