Physiological hunger versus emotional hunger

You’ve probably heard this in certain situations: cravings and need to eat late, opening the pantry or refrigerator without quite knowing what you’re looking for, or thinking about eating when you have to sit down to do your homework.

Did you know that this feeling is understood as emotional hunger? These are impulses that interfere with your eating, and identifying them will go a long way in controlling them. Some of the main situations that we identify as “emotional hunger” are associated with the end of a hectic, stressful day, times when the body relaxes; with when you have fewer tasks to do and confuse boredom with hunger; or a way to escape personal problems, resorting to food to release the hormones of happiness that it produces in our body.

we tell you the difference between physiological and emotional hunger and some tips to control it.

    What is physiological hunger?

    Physiological hunger is the natural feeling that occurs in our body when it needs nutrients to meet the body’s needs. People need nutrients derived from food to perform a multitude of internal and external functions.

    We can classify nutrients into macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients: vitamins and minerals.

    Identify physiological hunger

    Physiological hunger is natural, everyone feels it, and it is normal to happen even with a slight feeling of hunger at the next meal. It’s just a warning from our body that we need food.

    Here are some ideas for learning to identify physiological hunger:

    • It is not specific food, but can be relieved with different alternatives.
    • It is progressive, that is to say that it passes more and more sensation.
    • You can wait to be satisfied.
    • It doesn’t produce negative feelings, like guilt at the end.
    • It goes away when we reach satiety.

    What is emotional hunger?

    Emotional hunger occurs as reaction to escape certain emotions, which are usually negative. Our body is ready to survive and feel good, looking for a quick way to escape certain situations that we don’t like … and from that point of view in the short term, what better than rapid hormonal release through food.

    Identify emotional hunger

    Analyzing our body and understanding it will allow you to have a better relationship with it and as a result, you will get a better version of yourself.

    Surely you’ve felt that instant hunger after a hectic day in the society we’ve built, or through boring weekends not knowing what to do. Here are a few things to identify when it comes to emotional hunger:

    • It is usually food in particular, as it is often called “desires”.
    • It is instantaneous and not gradually like the physiological.
    • It must be satisfied at the time, as opposed to physiological can not wait.
    • It produces negative feelings when it’s over, like feelings of guilt.
    • It takes longer to satisfy and it doesn’t stop when we are tipping naturally.

    How to control emotional hunger

    Once emotional hunger is differentiated from physiological hunger, we must learn to control our emotional appetite to have a better balance in our habits and our health, Obtain a greater feeling of well-being and fullness. So here are some guidelines for tackling emotional hunger.

    • Often we don’t know how to tell hunger from thirst; staying hydrated throughout the day will not confuse these two sensations.
    • Having structure in your diet will keep you full and energized throughout the day, preventing possible food anxiety at specific times when circumstances are beyond your control.
    • Get to know yourself a little more, emotional balance is a fundamental pillar of health, so it is always good to seek the help of a psychologist.
    • Meditation can be a great ally against emotional hunger by keeping your emotional instability at bay.

    Improve your relationship with food

    Improving your relationship with food is the key to improving your diet, it’s the first step. It involves breaking away from the traditional concept of dieting, generally understood as a circumstantial methodology to lose as many pounds as possible in the shortest possible time, in any way, regardless of health or other patterns. This is a mistake, ideally your diet should make you feel more well and full, help you have more energy, or even help prevent disease.

    The word diet actually means all the foods that we eat in our daily life, and that it must be varied, balanced and adapted to your person. It is always believed that when a person is on a diet they have banned foods when in fact this is not true but maybe their consumption should be reduced.

      There are no bad or good foods

      A fairly common mistake is to classify foods as good or bad, depending on your goal. For example, thinking that there are good foods for weight loss. There is no such thing as healthy food, health lies in the overall calculation of diet and daily actions.

      We recommend that you vary the foods, this will contribute to the nutrient richness of the diet and avoid generating allergies and intolerances by excess. In this sense, a motto that we really like is:

      “Neither a salad will make you healthier, nor a hamburger less healthy”

      Help you improve your health with different habits integrated into your routine, such as:

      • A better balance in our diet.
      • More physical activity.
      • Better rest.
      • Better emotional balance.

      Changing your lifestyle is a process

      Don’t go from black to black bringing greater balance to our lives and habits is a gray scale. Start slow, change and improve some habits, it all adds up! If you can’t exercise for 5 days, maybe you can do two, and that’s okay, you don’t have to prepare all the perfect meals.

      It’s a process, so small steps will help you develop a habit as you control these emotional impulses more and more. If you decide to do this, you will surely make the total calculation of your diet more balanced and sustainable.

      Start now! Don’t go back to dieting, but change your lifestyle forever.

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