Hunger is the instinctual physical response to the body ASKING for nutrients. You know, the growling, grumbling in your belly, light-headedness, tiredness, nausea, headache, irritability, muscle fatigue and lack of focus. AKA hunger is letting you know it needs 'something' to function. Appetite on the other hand, is a LEARNED desire for certain foods, the conditioning to eat everything on our plate/table as well as the need to eat a specific times. In other words, appetite is conditioned pleasure seeking. Neuroscientist David Linden from John Hopkins, explains that people addicted to fatty foods have a similar reaction in their brain as those addicted to cocaine ("The Pleasure Compass: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good")
So, what do we do, when many foods are high in fat content plus extensive emotional/psychological marketing are directed right at us? Distinguish between real hunger and appetite. If you are hungry and eat you will feel better! If you fulfill and over indulge your appetite you feel pleasure while you eat, but generally feel bloated, tired, heavy or lazy afterwards. AKA the 'food baby'
3 easy tools
- Don't let yourself get TOO hungryWhen we get too hungry, we want something to quickly fill us up and usually that is, high fat/sugar/salt content food. Also, the food industry is NOT on hunger's side... just look at what's available and cost effective
- When you feel the symptoms of 'hunger', drink a tall, 8 oz or larger bottle of water... wait a couple of minutes and check in with how you feel.Often, we are dehydrated but our appetite kicks in and asks for chips or chocolate instead.
- Turn up your internal volume and turn down the advertisements from TV, movies, websites, hulu, radio, etc