Hunger vs. Appetite
Have you ever been walking in the mall passing the fresh cookie stand and after one big whiff of fresh cookie goodness you all of the sudden think you are hungry? Let’s say you just got done eating a big meal and there is no way you are hungry but your mouth is watering and your body is saying it needs a cookie right now. Have you ever wondered how you can have syptoms of hunger at a time you know there is no way you are hungry? Well just to let you know it is possible.
The reason you can have all of this going on at one time is because we are talking about 2 different responses, hunger and appetitie. Hunger is a physiological response to a need for food. Hunger is triggered by an empty stomach, hormones, the types of nutrients present or missing in the bloodstream, what you ate for your previous meal, and whether you have been exercising.
Appetite is the desire or craving for food and is associated with the pleasurable aspect of food. If you have issues with overeating you may be thinking your body is sending hunger signals but it’s actually just an appetite response. If you are unsure if your response is hunger or appetite you can use this scale, you want to eat when you are at 4 and stop when you reach 6-7. Give it a try and see if you can figure out the difference between hunger and appetite.