5 Tips on How to Honour your Hunger

by Dawid Furman
Honour your Hunger

Honoring Your Hunger is the second principle of Intuitive Eating outlined by Tribole & Resch in the Intuitive Eating Workbook.

Hunger is a natural biological cue your body sends to let the rest of your body know when it needs energy.

Chronic eating can lead to deranged hunger cues, which results in overeating. This is why intuitive eating is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight.

It is important to honor your hunger as once you reach a level of excessive hunger, all your conscious thoughts about healthy eating go out the window, and you may just want to stuff yourself with food.

Honoring your hunger is one of the first steps to healing your relationship with food, which may be especially challenging if you have not honored your hunger in the past.

Follow on reading for 5 tips on how to help you overcome the challenges of honoring your hunger.

1. Recognize Body Cues Awareness

The body sends cues in the form of physical sensations when hungry such as a rapid heartbeat or rumbling stomach.

These hunger cues can help determine what you need in order to meet your needs.

You can practice self-awareness by carefully counting your pulse from your wrist and reflecting on where you feel the beat and what your self-talk is like in the process. This will help you connect with the body.

You can also try to pay attention to physical sensations such as noting different biological cues such as thirst and how they make you feel. Doing this regularly will train your body to feel hunger cues better.

2. Practice Self Care by Ignoring Disruptors

Disrupters are distractions that stop you from properly responding to the needs of your body.

For this reason, it is important to take care of your body, as it may be hard to listen to hunger cues if your basic physical and emotional needs are not met.

Putting your phone away when eating or managing stress will increase your ability to hear hunger cues.

Reflect on your past self-care and note what practices you and what trends you can improve, as well as what disruptors you encountered.

Know using the trends you can improve on as well as disruptors to self care from the above sentence, note down one or two strategies which could make you improve for each one.

3. Know Your Biological Hunger Cues

Hunger can have different qualities, making different parts of your body feel in a different way, often making the body feel unpleasant if too hungry or pleasant if mildly hungry.

When the body is hungry, it will signal it to you in different forms, such as by mood or energy changes, so it is important to learn your hunger cues. 

Rate your hunger at different time points throughout the day from 1-10 and ask yourself at which rating you usually feel hungry and at what ratings are the feelings pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.

After repeatedly doing this, you will notice trends start to form, and you will be able to say what sensation of hunger is right for you as well as what eating pattern may work best for you.

4. Develop Self-Care Nourishment Plans

In some situations, such as chronic stress, disease, or being an athlete, you may not be able to rely on hunger cues to know when to adequately nourish the body.

If you’re not able to rely on hunger cues, you will have to use your rational thought to keep nourished, which can be done with a self-care nourishment plan.

 When creating an emergency self-care nourishment plan, pick meals that you enjoy, are easy to make, and nourish you properly for a few hours.

Remember, if you are stressed, it may be easier to eat small meals throughout the day instead of large meals.

It does not have to be a strict meal plan; it can just have examples of emergency meals and can be flexible to change meals to suit your needs.

5. Always Honour the Hunger Cues Your Body Sends

It is important to be able to separate your thoughts from hunger cues.

You may not want to eat despite feeling hungry as you may have only eaten recently. It may be inconvenient to eat again, and you may not think your body needs it.

However, it is important to honor these hunger cues as your body may need to be nourished more than usual due to many factors, e.g., higher levels of physical activity or fewer calories eaten the previous day.

Every time you respond to a biological cue and honor your body with nourishment, you build trust and connection with the body.


If you are interested in learning more about Intuitive eating, check out these articles:


  1. Ditch The Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace With Food
  4. Challenge The Food Police
  5. Feel Your Fullness
  6. Discover The Satisfaction Factor
  7. Cope with Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise: Feel the Difference
  10. Honour Your Health: Feel the Difference


Find Your Registered Dietitian here

On Dietitian Directory, you can find all sorts of Dietitians, including Intuitive Eating Dietitians, Weight Inclusive Dietitians, Mindful Eating Dietitians, and Emotional Eating Dietitians

About the Author: Dawid Furman is a nutrition and exercise science student studying at the South East Technological University in Ireland and hopes to pursue a career as a dietitian in the future.


Reviewed by: Lindsey McGregor, RD

Images from: Unsplash and Pexels


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