Hunger is: the discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food.
While appetite is define as: An instinctive physical desire, especially one for food or drink. A strong wish or urge. -thefreedictionary.com
Notice here the difference between hunger and appetite. If you are truly hungry and someone offers you an apple, you will gladly accept that apple to fill the void. Again, if you say you are “hungry” and someone offers you an apple and you say, No, that doesn’t sound good. I think what I am really hungry for is…
You probably aren’t exactly hungry, but rather your appetite is speaking up and you may begin to crave something.
We have all been there- gurgle, rumble, pains and aches. You can become lightheaded, have trouble concentrating, or even act grumpy. AKA “hangry!” That is your belly talking to you telling you- feed me!
If you are just bored or craving something even though your stomach seems fairly satisfied, you aren’t really hungry. It’s just hat appetite gremlin that lives in between your head and your belly that’s whispering, get me some chips!
Over the last several months I have chosen to practice more mindful eating techniques and it has been helpful not only in slowing me down and helping me to enjoy my food more, but I also believe it has encouraged me to assess my hunger scale number to see if and when I am truly hungry and when I have an appetite for something specific (and if its worth it!) I also believe that this mindfulness has supported better digestion of my food!
If you have trouble eating mindfully, I encourage you to save a copy of the hunger scale to your phone or print off a copy and hang it somewhere in the kitchen where you can view it before you go snacking. Remember, aim to find that happy, peaceful place on the hunger scale each time you eat!