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The Glucose-Hunger connection

Hunger versus appetite can be difficult to interpret when you’re trying to manage your weight. On one hand, if you’ve had balanced meals and snacks throughout your day and you’re hungry, this could be a sign that you’re not be eating enough calories. However, if you’re feeling hungry after eating sugary or carbohydrate-only foods, then your glucose may be playing a trick on you. Here’s how your glucose and hunger are related and what you can do when hunger takes the wheel. 

Meals or snacks that are carb-rich or sugary can rapidly raise your glucose, which is followed by a rapid drop. Rapid glucose swings (or low glucose) may leave you experiencing the tell-tale signs of a crash: fatigue, irritability, and, you guessed it, hunger. (1)

Next time you’re feeling hungry, devices like Lingo can help you assess that feeling and make the right choices. (2),(3) First, check your Lingo app. Did you recently experience a spike followed by a dip in your glucose? (4) This may be the cause of your hunger. If you’ve eaten in the past 90-120 minutes, you may want to consider drinking some water, taking a walk, and waiting a few minutes longer to see if your glucose has steadied. If it’s been a few hours since you’ve last eaten and you’re noticing a dip, listen to your body and eat something. Follow The Fundamentals and add a balanced meal/snack packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber to get your glucose back on track. 



  1. Brand-Miller JC, Stockmann K, Atkinson F, Petocz P, Denyer G. Glycemic index, postprandial glycemia, and the shape of the curve in healthy subjects: analysis of a database of more than 1,000 foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):97-105.
  2. Wyatt P, et al. Postprandial glycaemic dips predict appetite and energy intake in healthy individuals. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr;3(4):523-529. 
  3. Ciampolini M, et al. Training to estimate  blood glucose and to form associations with initial hunger. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Dec 8;3:42. 
  4. Jospe MR, et al. Teaching people to eat according to appetite - Does the method of glucose measurement matter? Appetite. 2020 Aug 1;151:104691. 
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© 2023 Abbott. All rights reserved. Lingo and related marks are marks of the Abbott group of companies. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.Lingo Sensing Technology Unlimited Company is a private Unlimited Company with registered number 731659. Our registered office is at 70 Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2, D02 R296, Ireland.The Lingo system is not intended for medical use and is not intended for use in screening, diagnosis, treatment, cure, mitigation, prevention, or monitoring of diseases, including diabetes. The Lingo programme does not guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results as individual responses may vary. It is best to speak to your doctor for advise on starting any diet or exercise regime or if you have an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders.Do not use Lingo if you are pregnant. Dietary advice and Lingo Counts may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant.