Stomach hunger versus mouth hunger: are we kidding?

Have you ever heard of stomach hunger versus mouth hunger? Many nutritionists and nutritionists talk about this. A client mentions eating something bad, and the doctor asks, “Was it hungry in the stomach or in the mouth?”

A variation on the question is, “Was it physical hunger or emotional hunger?”

Top performance motivator Anthony Robbins says, “If you ask bad questions, you get bad answers.” Asking a customer whether she ate because of stomach or mouth hunger – or because of physical or emotional hunger – is the classic Bad Question.

And you get bad answers. Answers like “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”. Sometimes the answer is another bad question: “How can I know?” The client is trying to find out if she was hungry for physical or emotional reasons.

Despite these rampant failures, the issue remains. One book even uses the term “intestinal hunger”. Does anyone out there have any idea what this is? If I can’t understand, what chance do my customers have?

A better question

Here is an idea that can clear things up. I never use the term “hunger” for anything but physical hunger. Instead, I ask, “Were you physically hungry or did you just feel like eating?”

This question gets real answers and can reveal some important questions. People notice the difference.

The desire to eat can have a lot behind it – emotions, stress, changes in brain chemistry, changes in hormones. Some clients may need training to explore the emotional component and retrain their responses so as not to involve food. Some may need to change their diets to change brain chemistry and / or hormones.

Real hunger

Hunger is a specific physical sign that the body needs food. I explained in detail what it feels like to be hungry for customers who don’t feel it.

Why don’t these customers feel hungry? Some may not, because, for years, they ate for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger:

• the clock says it is time for meals

• everyone is eating

• appetizing food is here now

• they ate a lot at the last meal

• are stressed, depressed, anxious or even happy.

Readers may conclude that the items in the last item show “emotional hunger”, but I am suggesting that the word “hunger” causes confusion. It is more appropriate to use it only when signs of physical hunger are present.

How do I know if I’m hungry?

Customers who are never hungry may be confused about how to determine hunger. If someone says, “I had breakfast at 7 am, and now it’s 12:30 pm, then I must be hungry”, this is a thought process, not hunger. The best tactic is to help customers retrain their recognition of hunger through greater awareness of bodily signals.

It is useful to be on the lookout for misinterpreted signs. An obese customer told me that his hunger was “here” and put his hand to his throat. Further questioning revealed that he actually had GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder), which we relieved in two ways. One monitored his work position after eating (sometimes he worked at home, in bed). The other was taking OTC medicine before the meal. (Don’t worry; I checked with your doctor.)

Customers who eat too much sugar may not feel hungry. Despite the research, I still haven’t found a satisfactory explanation for this. The client’s symptoms, however, can be attributed to falls in glucose. If someone says, “I don’t get hungry, I get a headache,” it could be a sign of reactive hypoglycemia. There are other examples.

Therefore, the absence of hunger may reflect a lack of awareness, chronic overeating or chronically high sugar consumption. When I find a solid explanation for the latter, I will definitely let you know.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a nutritionist, do an evaluation and find one that doesn’t ask about hunger in your mouth.

By admin

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