Food is the fuel we need to live, for that reason our bodies never hesitate to indicate that they are ready for breakfast, lunch, dinner and probably some snacks in between. In general, people eat for two reasons: hunger and appetite. The difference between the two is what makes you go from a single biscuit to satisfy your need for energy (hunger) to finishing the entire packet (appetite). So read on to understand the simple difference between these two eating-related concepts.
Hunger is the need for food. It is a physical reaction that includes chemical changes related to low sugar levels in the blood indicating it´s time to fill up the energy tank. By signaling the need for food, through a rumbling belly and feelings of wobblyness our bodies set off a protective mechanism that ensures it will get the fuel in needs to work well.
Appetite is the desire for food. It is a sensory reaction that stimulated our sences and creates a conditioned response to food. If it looks delicious, smells scruptious and makes us want to have it! It´s appetite. We might not be in the need for fuel but we have a craving for it.
So why does knowing the difference matter?
It is important that we work on ensuring we cover our hunger needs. No one likes to feel hungry and when it´s up to us it should be avoided. Frequent meals throughout the day ensure we have stable sugar levels in our blood, proving us with the optimal conditions for our bodies to carry out daily tasks without harmign itself. If these are levels are nor reached our amazing bosides find a way to compensate (chemical reactions I wont get into here) and keep us well for a while, but that´s not recomendable as it puts a strain on out organism.
On the other hand, if we give in to all of our food appetite desires we will most likely baloon up! This will also harm our bodies and create health problems. For that reason, it is important to know when to stop. So when you reach for the second serving ask yourslef: hunger or appetite?
Remember: food should also be a source of pleasure… so enjoy!