Do you feel irritable and get jittery or experience emotional ups and downs when you’re hungry? Know that it’s not true hunger. Your headaches and fatigue might not be true signs of hunger. These may be signs of being metabolically unfit, or the inability of your body to switch from burning sugar / carbs to burning fat.
Telling the Difference Between True and Toxic Hunger
The first description of the difference between true and toxic hunger was given by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in several of his books. Dr. Fuhrman observed that people’s perception of hunger change when they're eating a nutrient-dense diet.
What this means is you are essentially capable of switching from feeling uncomfortable sensations of hunger, which are not actually hunger to what's called true hunger, which is described by Dr. Fuhrman as “less frequent, less uncomfortable, and mainly felt in the mouth and throat.” 
This is also achieved through metabolic flexibility. What this means is your body can switch from sugar-burning to fat-burning mode quickly. When your body is not capable of doing that, you can almost think about it as not being metabolically fit.
When you’re not metabolically fit, it’s like your ability to process nutrients is “out of shape.” What's happening is if your body is deprived of sugar or carbohydrates and it's not capable of switching into fat-burning mode, your blood sugar can drop, you get physical and emotional symptoms and just feel desperate to get something sweet. When that happens, you have to realize your body is not in an optimal state.
How to Be Attuned to True Hunger
Ancient man was capable of switching from burning sugar to burning fat mode. If they went without food, their body was essentially trained to be able to do this transition smoothly. That's why fasting is helpful because it’s like training your body to be able to switch from burning sugar to burning fat without any problem. If you’re not sure whether fasting is for you, you can take this free assessment.
2. Eating clean
Another way of retraining your body is to just start eating really cleanly. This means avoiding processed foods that make your blood sugar go up and down. If your blood sugar is constantly fluctuating, your body isn’t going to become metabolically fit. If you eat a lot of nutrient-dense foods, then your blood sugar will be more stable and your body will become metabolically fit. It will be able to handle food and lack of food in a much more efficient way.
Be conscious of what’s in the food you’re eating. Get rid of processed foods, processed carbs, and artificial sweeteners. Chips and whole grains that have been milled into very fine flour have to go. Eat more greens. Once you start getting control of your blood sugar, then you’ll also start to see some improvement. Follow it up with intermittent fasting.
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1 Hungry? True Hunger versus Toxic Hunger. (2016, May 25). Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.drfuhrman.com/elearning/eat-to-live-blog/58/hungry-true-hunger-versus-toxic-hunger.