Hunger VS Appetite

Do you know what differentiates the two?

We may not realize how vulnerable we truly are to not only our surroundings (environment, friends, work, etc.) but the amount of sleep and stress we put on ourselves on a daily basis. These all play a huge role into our health and eating habits. Our minds even play tricks on us at times when it comes to recognizing true hunger compared to when something just “sounds good.”


It’s been a few hours since your last meal, and your stomach is feeling empty (growling). You aren’t necessarily craving anything specific, but you recognize your body needs food!


Let’s say you’re out bowling with friends. You indulge in appetizers while there, and you begin to feel a bit full. However, you continue to munch on the food. After bowling, your group of friends decide to go out to eat. You scarf down your favorite food; feeling stuffed. An hour later, you’re craving your favorite ice cream (even though you’re not hungry at all) and decide to end the night with dessert!

The Difference: 

When we’re hungry our bodies alert us with; a growling stomach, a headache, irritability, shakiness, low blood sugar, etc. and for most of us, this happens when we’ve gone several hours without eating.

On the other hand- thanks to our thoughts, emotions, friends, etc. all play a role in our “appetite”. Having an appetite doesn’t truly depend upon the time you last ate. It comes on by cravings; what sounds good or what others suggest around you. It also happens at times when we’re bored, upset, or tired.

Have you noticed a difference in your eating habits when you’re full of energy and happy compared to when you’re tired/upset?

Health tips:

If you catch yourself eating when you’re not truly hungry…

  • Recognize it and make sure to stop immediately after you’re truly ‘satisfied’ instead of eating it all, just because.
  • Allow yourself to indulge without feeling guilty, but in a smaller portion.
  • If you’re going out, and know ahead of time what you may end up doing-eat before you go! Your stomach will be full (of healthy foods) and you’ll most likely end up eating less of the junk! 
  • To add, if you know the restaurant, make sure to look the menu up on your phone. This will allow you to make a conscious decision before you even leave. You can now decided what to order. (Now you won’t feel pressured to quickly order and will be able to recognize how hungry you really are. Which will oftentimes lead to a healthier choice!)
  • If you’re bored or an emotional eater; snack on frozen fruits, make a protein smoothie, etc. Find something that’s at least healthy and your body can benefit from.
  • Go outside for a walk/find something to distract you in a healthier way!
  • Your mind is more powerful than you may realize. 
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