Hunger is the most basic physiological need for organisms to survive. Most of the modern diseases like diabetes, high blood cholesterol leading to heart disease, stem from reasons related to diet, if you need to make changes in your diet, you can get more benefits by knowing your eating habit. Dr Oz takes us deep into our hunger types and how we may control our eating disorder by controlling our hunger and tendency of overeating or eating when we are not hungry.
Dr Ramani Durvasula, PhD and Clinical Psychologist, who herself has passed through a phase of eating disorder and being overweight, describes elegantly what are our hunger types and how they influence who we are and how we eat.
The Hunger Types
Dr Ramani categorized human eating behavior into 3 basic types.
1) Sensory Eating
“Sensory eating type” are People who gets turned on or get hungry suddenly with the smell, sight or sound of food even when their body is not starving or wanting food. She does a simple experiment on the show with Dr Oz and Heather, a volunteer on the show. Both were blindfolded and allowed to smell food. Heather felt instantly hungry while Dr Oz was not. They were allowed to hear crunchy potato chips crumbling and in this case too, Heather responded positively. However, Dr Oz and Heather both responded positively when they were being showed an icecream and chocolate syrup being poured on it. This was a nice demonstration of how sensory cues affect eating habit of some people like Heather.
2) Emotional Eaters
“Emotional eaters type”are People who want to eat whenever they are under an emotional stress as Dr Ramani put it, “if you are sad, or bad, or glad or anxious or frustrated, you grab and you eat”. Dr Oz invited a volunteer on the show and she described on the gambling wheel how different kinds of emotional conditions propel her towards different kinds of food. Dr Ramani explained that here the hunger is not really connected to our body’s need for food, on the contrary here we are eating to deal with our feelings or emotional problems. We want a quick fix to our problems and want to stimulate our reward center in the brain or become happy through food. Since this has nothing to do with real hunger but emotional state of mind, it comes all of a sudden. These kind of eaters are eating to numb their feelings like seeking instant gratification from food to numb their negative feelings, for example, sadness etc.
3) Habitual Eaters
“Habitual eaters type” are People who eat by the clock, doesn’t matter whether they are hungry or not. A volunteer on the show, Lisa, explained how she has a penchant for getting everything in her life organized including her eating times and how ritualistic she is when it comes to her eating. Dr Oz also mentions that most people fall in this category including himself. These kind of eaters tend to overeat because they want to be adhering to their eating schedule rather than eating in response to their hunger. Habitual eaters also tend to eat whenever eating is associated with some other activities in their life, for example, people and places. Dr Ramani describes, these can be our workplace cafeteria, visiting relatives or friends etc.
How To Know Your Hunger type!
Dr. Oz has put a quiz to determine your hunger type, by knowing your hunger type you could be more aware of your eating patterns so you an get rid of those extra pounds.
The Solution: How To Put An End To Your Overeating?
Dr Ramani also discusses about how to address these issues. So, here is the solution.
For Sensory Eaters:
To deal with their response to sensory cues of foods, Dr Ramani advises to take a whiff of grapefruit oilthat will be able to numb their sensory response. Grape fruit oil can be purchased online or at any health foodstore.
For Emotional Eaters:
To overcome their emotional stress response to food, she advises them to drink a warm cup of tea. Rooibos tea, as she explains will warm us up and help us get the much needed comfort we are looking for when emotionally stressed. Satiereal saffron extract, also available in health foodstore can also help the same way. By and large, most emotional eaters are looking for comfort in their food.
For Habitual Eaters:
For the people who are habitual eaters, Dr Ramani recommends to keep off of their schedule for a while. If they cannot take themselves off their schedule, it will be impossible for them to listen to their body. It is needed for them and everyone of us to eat when our body needs food and we feel really hungry. The signs of being hungry are “SIT”. Struggle with concentration, Irritability, Tummy problems – that is when we are really hungry and we need to eat before we get ‘super hungry’, since getting too hungry is also not good for our health either and we don’t want to fall on the other side of the cliff.