There are four different types of hunger. But thanks to our busy, fast-paced lives, we don’t notice them. This leads to mindless eating, unwanted weight gain, and not being able to truly enjoy and savor our meals. So, to put you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to your appetite, keep reading to discover four ways your body says, “I’m hungry!”

Do you feel full or empty?

When your stomach is literally empty, you feel hungry. That’s because a hormone, known as the hunger hormone, or ghrelin, helps to increase your appetite so you eat. Once your stomach becomes full, signals are sent to your brain to help you feel satiated.

Are there enough nutrients in your bloodstream?

After you eat, if you still feel hungry, it may be because your body is low on key nutrients, like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. If that’s the case, it may be useful to put together more nutrient-dense meals to not only fill your stomach but to also satisfy your nutritional needs.

Does the thought of food make you feel nauseous?

Another way the body deals with hunger is by releasing hunger-diminishing hormones from the small intestine and pancreas. Once you’ve eaten enough, these hormones can make the thought of eating more seem nauseating.

Are you bored when you eat?

Another hormone called leptin helps you feel satisfied when you’ve eaten enough. But if you keep eating after that point, food gets boring. And if you overeat, you might not want to eat food for a couple days.

When you eat more slowly and mindfully, you start to notice these four different types of hunger. And when you do, you’ll know exactly when you feel full, empty, still hungry, and even nauseous and bored by the thought of food.

We might think we’re progressive, forward-thinking and open-minded. But the truth is, many of us aren’t as open-minded as we’d like. And that’s fine if you live in a bubble. But most of us don’t. Instead, we have to interact, cooperate and compromise with other people every single day. And having an open mind is essential if we want to coexist in a peaceful way.

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