Lauren Marsh is a clinical nutritional therapist, eating disorder recovery guide and intuitive eating coach. If you want anything, you have to do everything, so I’ve brought in this special guest speaker to talk about intuitive eating. For more with Lauren Marsh please visit


Did you know that there is more than 1 type of hunger?


So often my clients say that they “emotionally ate” last night or “I had extra of this because it tasted good” …does this sound familiar?


I am here to tell you that these responses are COMPLETELY normal! We are not robots, there is no wrong way to eat!


There are four main types of Hunger:


Physical Hunger 


Physical hunger stems from a need for energy from food. Just like when our bladder stretches, it signals a need to pee, or when our mouth feels dry, it signals a need to hydrate, when we feel the physical signs of hunger, it means we need food. We normally think of hunger as an empty or gnawing sensation in the stomach, but you can also experience signs of hunger outside the stomach. Sometimes physical hunger can present as fatigue, anxiety, headaches, shakiness, or just thinking more about food. The only way to take care of physical hunger is to eat! 


Taste Hunger


Taste hunger occurs when you have a taste for a specific food that may present outside of physical hunger or alongside it. Basically, taste hunger is when a food just sounds good! An example of pure taste hunger might be when you’ve just eaten a satisfying meal at a restaurant, see the dessert menu, and feel taste hungry when you see something appealing on it. Remember, taste hunger is valid hunger! You are allowed to eat when you’re not hungry, just because something looks or sounds good. However, when you know more tasty foods are coming, you might not feel an urgency to fulfil every taste hunger you experience. 


Emotional Hunger – VALID! 


Emotional hunger is when you have an unmet emotional need that presents itself with a desire to eat food. This is what we refer to as “comfort eating. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish physical and emotional hunger. Some ways to tell if it’s an emotional hunger is when it comes on quickly in conjunction with an intense emotion. You might have also recently eaten, or feel the need for comfort, security or distraction more so than a need for energy. 


(Ask yourself if this feeling is in your head or stomach – anxiety is usually present with Emotional Hunger)


It’s also important to note that emotional;/comfort hunger serves a purpose if used without a disordered reaction 


Practical Hunger


Practical hunger isn’t really hunger per say, but rather a need to eat in response to anticipated physical hunger that you won’t be able to satisfy. An example might be eating a large meal before a long plane ride or having lunch during a set lunch break, even though you’re not hungry at the moment


Lauren Marsh works with clients 1:1 and in private small group coaching groups. Please visit her instagram @howsheglows to connect