How do you tell the difference between hunger and anxiety?


In many situations, stress, anxiety, or even boredom can cause food to be eaten to calm those feelings that have nothing to do with hunger.

Thus, people who have the need to eat all the time can use some guidelines to differentiate the sensation of hunger from other sensations or feelings where food is also used to satisfy them.

Psychological hunger or emotional hunger is “a form of eating accompanied by a very strong urge that does not respond to a purpose of nourishing the body, but has the purpose of comforting, calming, rewarding, distracting and regulating negative emotions”.

Hungry stomach

In order to manage these emotions and not resort to food, it is important to know how to differentiate them from the feeling of true hunger. To this end, he offers three guidelines for differentiation:

  • Where it manifests: physical hunger manifests itself in the stomach, through noise or a feeling of emptiness, as well as in the body, with a feeling of low energy. Emotional hunger does not manifest itself in the stomach, which remains quiet.
  • The types of food: when the sensation of true hunger occurs, food of all types is required, such as fruit, meat or vegetables. On the contrary, when the hunger is emotional, it is usually only calmed by foods high in sugars, fats or salt.
  • Time: To differentiate physical hunger from emotional hunger, it is also enough to look at the time that has passed since the last meal.


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