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Tummy Hunger or Mouth Hunger?
In reading a book recently with advice from the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness, plus several other articles dealing with New Year's diet resolutions, it occurred to me to write on the subject of hunger.
Hunger is necessary for our continued existence. We need to replenish the energy we expend, heal and rebuild constantly. But taken too far, which seems to be the norm in recent years, obesity and many health problems result.
What causes this required instinct to go haywire and how can we control it? By learning the difference between "Tummy Hunger" and "Mouth Hunger".
Real tummy hunger is glorious. Some of the most memorable meals I have eaten were after a hard bout of physical labor. Who can forget coming indoors out of the cold to savor the fragrance of Mom's cooking as a child?
Tummy hunger is a hollow feeling in the middle, perhaps a growling stomach. Sometimes it includes cold or exhaustion, or trembling from low blood sugar. A meal eaten to satisfy real tummy hunger is true happiness.
Mouth hunger is something else. We are born with it - stroke a newborn baby's cheek and see how its mouth seeks your finger, whether it's hungry or not.
Mouth hunger is caused by a need for something - and not necessarily food. It leads to munchies, often on inappropriate snacks, to added pounds, and while it may bring pleasure at the moment, it does not lead to happiness - especially when you cannot fit into your clothes or keep up with the youngsters.
Here's some hints on controlling this monster - and it truly is a monster issue for many of us.
Food, when you aren't tummy hungry, can only bring you fleeting pleasure, it will not make you happy, long term. Recognizing the difference between the two kinds of hunger is the first step to a solution. When the munchies strike, ask yourself what kind of hunger it is, and why. And keep in mind that food, after exercise or hard work, satisfies both tummy and mouth hunger in the most enjoyable way!
The Sneaky Kitchen
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