With so many diet books on the shelf, it can be daunting to pick one. Most of these books promote one type of diet for all, but what about the diet that is designed specifically for YOU? With her newest book, The Hunger Type Diet, journalist and trained nutritionist Lowri Turner has the answer to this question!
We are all different – physically, mentally, and hormonally – and all of these factors contribute to how and what we eat.
Rather than blame yourself for past failed diets, it’s time to look at hunger in a different light. In reality, there are several kinds of hunger. There is genuine physical hunger; which we all know by the stomach pains. But the trouble is that there are other kinds of hunger; the kinds that cause weight gain.
The key is discovering your own “Hunger Type” – and following Turner’s simple diet plan and tips geared towards YOU.
So, what’s your Hunger Type?
- Anxious Hunger
Do you snack compulsively when you feel anxious or worried? When you are anxious or worried do you make yourself a big meal, eat it and still want to eat more? Do you eat at night, even getting up to eat a snack? If you have Anxious Hunger, you eat to quell fears and worries.
- Bored Hunger
We all get bored from time to time. But rather than take up a hobby, some of us eat instead. Bored Hunger has nothing to do with food enjoyment. Often the food you end up eating when you’re bored is pretty grim. Because you’re trying to pretend you’re not actually eating (because you’re not physically hungry), you don’t cook a balanced meal. Instead, you graze on things that are convenient—potato chips, cookies and other snacks.
- Cravings Hunger
Are there times when you have to eat a certain food; when you’re really driven to it? Are there certain foods that call to you from the kitchen cupboards? Do your efforts to lose weight fail because of a few food favorites that you just can’t resist? You may have Cravings Hunger. The desire for these foods isn’t a whim. Those who have Cravings Hunger are ruled by cravings.
- Emotional Hunger
If you have Emotional Hunger, you use food to manage your emotions. Uncomfortable emotions, such as anger, fear, sadness and guilt are pushed down, or tranquilized, with food. If you crave foods like chocolate, cakes and cookies, and particularly bread, potatoes, pasta and wine, then you may have Emotional Hunger.
- Hedonistic Hunger
Do you eat a meal, feel full, but then find yourself reaching for dessert? You love to cook, and eat at new restaurants—is food your passion? On the surface, Hedonistic Hunger sounds like fun. In reality, it causes overeating and weight gain.
- Never-Full Hunger
Do you eat a meal and never feel really satisfied or full? Do you find that your meals are bigger than most? If you have Never-Full Hunger, you may eat big meals, but for you they don’t even begin to satisfy.
- PMS Hunger
This one’s for the ladies! Let’s face it: we all get hormonal when Aunt Flow comes to town. And who among us can say we don’t reach for chocolate on those bad PMS days? However, the rise and fall of a woman’s hormones not only controls a her fertility, but it also has a huge effect on her mood, her eating and how much of what she eats gets stored as fat—and even where it’s stored. If you find yourself craving sweets and other unhealthy treats during your menstruation, you may have PMS Hunger.
- Stress Hunger
Have you been through a major stressor in the few years? Do you feel tired at about 6 PM, but then have a “second wind” late at night? Have you gained weight around your midsection? You may think that Anxious Hunger and Stress Hunger are the same thing, but although stress can cause anxiety, the root cause is different. Whereas Anxious Hunger (see page 26) stems from an overstimulation of the limbic system and a possible deficiency of the neurotransmitter GABA, Stress Hunger is marked by an overstimulation of the adrenal glands and a possible excess of another hormone called cortisol.
- Tired Hunger
Do you have trouble getting to sleep, or do you wake in the night? Do you work shifts, travel to different time zones or have a young baby? Do you eat to give yourself energy to get through the day? Those who have Tired Hunger use food to lift themselves up, to give them mental and physical energy.
- Winter-Blues Hunger
Does cold winter weather make you feel down? Do you eat more comfort foods in winter, and subsequently put on weight? Winter-Blues Hunger is another variant of Emotional Hunger. It is driven by the same hormone —serotonin—although it only happens during winter months and is connected to sunlight. A Vitamin D rich diet is what you need!
- 40+ Hunger
Are you between 40 and 55? Have you started putting on weight, particularly around your middle, and you don’t know why? Has your appetite increased or are you now craving specific foods? There are particular hormonal challenges for men and women when they reach this age group and some of them effect eating habits and weight gain. For men and women who have 40+ Hunger, correcting hormonal imbalance is key.