- Stomach Growling: Borborygmi are the sounds that the stomach and intestines make as food, fluids, and gas pass through them. Usually noticed when hungry, this is because your intestines are empty and there’s less matter in your digestive system to muffle noise.
- Feeling Empty: You might feel an emptiness or hollowness in your stomach when you’re hungry.
- Low Energy: As your body needs fuel, you may start to feel tired, lethargic, or weak.
- Irritability: Hunger can sometimes make you cranky, irritable, or more easily frustrated.
- Difficulty Concentrating: When you’re hungry, it can be harder to focus and concentrate on tasks.
- Headache: Some people experience headaches or migraines when they’re hungry.
- Shakiness: A drop in blood sugar levels due to hunger can lead to shaky hands or trembling.
- Increased sensitivity to smells: When you’re hungry, you might notice that food smells more tempting and appetizing.
- Salivating: Your mouth might produce more saliva in anticipation of food.
- Cravings: Specific cravings for certain foods can be a strong hunger cue. Especially refined sugars or processed foods.
Feel Your Fullness
As you eat, look and listen for the signs you’re no longer hungry.
Imagine your fullness on a scale from 1 to 10. One is “I don’t feel like I’ve eaten at all” and 10 is “I’m completely full and can’t eat any more.” Five is something like “I’ve eaten some food, but I definitely have room for more.”
What level of fullness feels right to you? Some people might want to be at a 7 or 8 when they’re done eating. Others might want to get closer to 9 or 10.
The time it takes for signals from your stomach to reach your brain and convey that you’re full can vary from person to person and can be influenced by a variety of factors. Generally, it can take about 20 minutes for your brain to receive and process the fullness signals from your stomach. This delay in communication between your stomach and brain is sometimes referred to as the “satiety lag.”
If you struggle to stay tuned in for an entire meal, try checking in just three times: during the first, middle, and last bites. Experiment until you figure out what’s right for you.