How Do I Know If I’m Hungry?

Am I Hungry? 

The loss of the body’s natural hunger and fullness cues is a common experience, and can make recovery extremely challenging. A rumbling stomach may be the most obvious sign of hunger, but it is not the only one. There are several more subtle and often dismissed cues that indicate you are in need of some fuel.  

We posed this thought to members of our support group and asked: “For me, I know it’s time to eat when…” 

Here’s a collection of their answers: 

  • I start thinking about what I might want to eat next
  • I see a picture of food and it looks reeeeeeeeeallly tasty
  • I get a headache
  • I feel lightheaded when I stand up after sitting for a period of time 
  • I get cranky and don’t want to do anything that requires a lot of energy
  • I have difficulty focusing and concentrating on complex tasks
  • I start slouching or searching for a place to sit down and rest because standing is taking too much energy
  • I tend to get really anxious and VERY impatient/jittery when I’m hungry
  • It’s been a few hours since the last time I’ve eaten
  • My stomach growls
  • I get confused as to what I’m supposed to be doing or I can’t make a decision
  • I start pacing or tapping my foot excessively
  • I get weepy and whiny
  • Sometimes I think I need a nap, but really, I’m hungry
  • I get irritable
  • I get impatient – people are suddenly much too slow, too annoying, etc.
  • I get clumsy. I start to drop pencils, knock over objects on my desk or counter, etc.
  • I get slightly shaky (and that usually only happens when I am REALLY in need of some food)
  • I stop talking as much and start to withdraw from the people I’m with
  • My anxiety goes through the roof
  • I’ll start to stare off into space
  • Food commercials, diet ads, food in TV shows/movies start to stand out
  • When I reach for a piece of gum, I need to eat something
  • I start daydreaming about what I will eat next
  • I start wondering how long it will be until it’s time to eat.

These are just a few of the ways our wonderful community members know when it’s time for THEM to eat. Any single one of these experiences could signal that you are hungry. Could you be needing a meal or a snack?