Different kinds of hunger

Postdate: 19 June 2017

Your body mostly gives a sign when it is time to eat. The term hunger is therefore often confused with appetite, while having an appetite means you feel like eating something. While this difference is clear, dietician Marie-José Torenvliet describes in her book Recognize your Hunger multiple kinds of ‘hunger.’

Stomach and intestine movements
Sometimes your stomach rumbles while you are not hungry. In this case air bells in your stomach or intestines, or drinking too little can be the cause, both referred to as air hunger and false hunger. Maybe you only want to chew something: this is called chew hunger. By eating hard bread or crackers you can increase your chewing.

Concentration and senses
Do you have an appetite the whole day? With this constant hunger your body asks for sugars. It is often not your body but your brain asking for food. Do you often sit behind your computer, then you may experience concentration hunger: you want something sweet. In this case you brain needs fuel. You can compare this with appetite, but the difference is that after a walk outside this type of hunger passes. With senses hunger you are seduced with beautiful colors and nice smells of food. For example, when you smell fresh baked bread, you will automatically develop an appetite.

Boredom and sleep deprivation
After a party you can experience after party hunger. Maybe you have eaten unhealthy earlier that day, which triggers the after party hunger. Either way: you want fat, and preferable salty food. This is caused by a combination of lack of sleep and alcohol, both increasing your appetite. Also boredom can make you eat more than is good for you, because your brain lacks incentives. Instead of eating you can do relaxation exercises. Distraction is the magic word!

‘If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution’

Emotion and exercise
Emotional eating is linked to your mental status. Eating is a way to compensate (sadness, stress) or to increase (happiness) your emotions. Another side is habit hunger: Also this has to do with behaviour. Imagine you are used to eat a calorie rich dessert after a satisfying meal. What happens when you replace this by something nutritious, or a walk around the bock? Lack of exercise can also lead to movement hunger. Your hunger and satisfying mechanism are out of balance.

Hormones and fatigue
Most women will recognize hormonal hunger. Hormone swings can cause you to have more cravings for sugars, like chocolate. Fatigue hunger is cause by lack of sleep. You recognize this by an afternoon- or after dinner dip, whereby a powernap is more helpful than sugar.

Many kinds of hunger have a deeper cause. This cause is triggering wrong food choices, which makes your body used to it. Eating enough, enough exercise and sleep mutes your hunger, likewise does a varied diet with a balance in fibres and protein. Do you experience a rumbling stomach? Think about which kind of hunger you have, and if necessary you take a healthy snack with you.


appetite     behaviour     body     emotion     food     hunger    


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