Eating with your eyes? Not so fast. There are seven types of hunger, and those who fail to recognise them are more likely to gain kilos, according to a University of Arizona study. Get clued up.
1. Eye hunger
The trigger: A pizza in the conference room
Ask yourself if you’d be jonesing for an apple. No? You don’t need food. Yes? Savour each bite so you can stop when you’re satisfied.
2. Nose hunger
The trigger: The sweet smell of cinnamon scrolls
If you’re truly hungry, have a small serving or a healthy swap like wholegrain toast with peanut butter and cinnamon.
3. Heart hunger
The trigger: Sadness, anxiety, boredom
If you’re wandering around looking for anything to eat, it’s likely tied to emotions. Acknowledge what’s bugging you and deal with it directly (eg, a few deep breaths).
4. Mouth hunger
The trigger: A craving for creamy, crunchy, cold
Certain textures and temps can be psychologically satisfying. Know which qualities you crave and keep small-portioned, low-kJ options nearby that’ll scratch that itch, like Greek yoghurt or frozen grapes.
5. Mental hunger
The trigger: The clock
Don’t have lunch – and lick the plate clean – just because it’s noon. If you’re truly hungry when the clock strikes 12, grab your meal and eat until you’re full.
6. Cellular hunger
The trigger: Fatigue
Feeling beat causes hankerings for junk, but heavy foods can leave you more tired. Grab a 15-min nap or high-protein snack (hey, almonds) to boost your energy.
7. Stomach hunger
The trigger: A gurgling belly
Rate your hunger on a scale of 1-10: 0-3 is snack territory, 4-6 calls for a small meal and 7-10 means fill your plate.