The Dynamics of Hunger

Understanding Your Body’s Hunger Cues, Maximizing Nutrients and Improving Thermogenesis

Integrative Steps, health and wellness coach. in Dynamics of hunger.


Understanding your body’s hunger cues and maximizing nutrients is the key to managing hunger and getting/staying healthy.

How to Satisfy Hunger. Hunger signals can be confusing because they are widely instigated by hormones. Let’s explore the science behind hunger and how to maximize the calories you eat and help your body utilize nutrients from food. Hunger is a complex sensation that can be caused by a variety of biological and psychological factors.

Biological Factors:

Hormonal regulation: Several hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin, play a role in regulating hunger. Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it stimulates appetite, while leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” because it signals to the brain when the body has had enough food.

Nutrient deficiencies: When the body lacks certain nutrients, it may send hunger signals to encourage the person to consume more food and make up for the deficiency.

Low blood sugar: When blood sugar levels drop, the body may respond by releasing hormones that stimulate hunger.

Stomach contractions: As the stomach empties, it contracts and sends signals to the brain that can trigger hunger.

Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to feel hungrier or less full than others, which can affect their eating habits.

Psychological Factors:

Emotional eating: Many people turn to food to cope with stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Habitual eating: Eating at certain times of day or in certain situations can become a habit, even when the body isn’t actually hungry.

Social cues: Seeing or smelling food, or being around others who are eating, can trigger hunger even if the body doesn’t actually need food.

Boredom: Some people may eat out of boredom or as a way to pass the time.

Dieting and restriction: Restricting food intake or following a strict diet can lead to increased hunger and cravings.

Hormones that impact hunger:

Hunger is regulated by a complex connection of hormones that act on the brain and the digestive system.

1.Ghrelin: AKA  the “hunger hormone” stimulates appetite. It is produced in the stomach and is released when the stomach is empty. Ghrelin signals the brain to increase food intake and plays a key role in regulating hunger.

2.Leptin: AKA the “satiety hormone” signals to the brain when the body is full. It is produced by fat cells and acts on the hypothalamus in the brain to decrease appetite and increase energy expenditure.

3.Insulin: It is a hormone that is released by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar levels. It helps to transport glucose into cells for energy. Insulin can also play a role in regulating hunger by signaling to the brain that the body has enough energy and reducing appetite.

4.Peptide YY (PYY): PYY is a hormone produced in the gut and is released after eating. It signals to the brain that the body is full and decreases appetite. Important for regulating portion size and preventing overeating, because it increases as we eat.

5.Cholecystokinin (CCK): CCK is also produced in the gut and released after eating. It signals to the brain to reduce food intake and increase feelings of fullness. CCK levels are highest when eating foods high in protein and fat.

6.Cortisol: AKA the stress hormone. It is released in response to stress. It can increase appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods, particularly those high in sugar and fat.

Common reasons you may feel hungry:

1. Dehydration: Sometimes, our bodies may mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a glass of water and see if your hunger subsides.

2. Lack of sleep: It can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite, leading to an increased feeling of hunger. Sleep makes a major difference in hunger.

3. Emotional eating: Sometimes, we may turn to food as a way to cope with stress, boredom, or other emotions.

4. Medications: Some medications can cause an increase in appetite or changes in metabolism that can make you feel hungry.

5. Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders or diabetes, can affect hunger levels and metabolism, leading to an increased feeling of hunger.

10 Tips To Satisfy Hunger (Snyder. 2021)

1.Stay hydrated

2.Avoid waiting too long to eat

3.Eat slowly & Chew well

4.Eat whole fruits instead of fruit juice

5.Crowding out- Eat your healthy foods first and save less room for the non-nutrient foods

7.Eat healthy fats

8.Eat foods with rich texture for  satisfaction, i.e., crunchy, chewy & thick

9.Eat enough protein

10.Avoid deprivation-It can be lead to intrusive thoughts about food.


Snyder, C. (2021, December 6). 13 ways to help curb appetite, according to science. Healthline. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from