News

Hunger management: is it emotional or physical hunger?

Hunger management: is it emotional or physical hunger?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The fine line between physical and psychological hunger.

There are many reasons why we eat - hunger is not always the reason. We often consume food when we are stressed, angry when we are happy, when we celebrate or just out of boredom. An expert gives tips on how we can differentiate between real physical hunger and emotional hunger.

Dr. Susan Albers is a psychologist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in the USA. In a recent release, she explains the difference between real physical and emotional hunger. The expert also gives tips on what you can do to get emotional hunger under control.

Difference between emotional and physical hunger

According to the psychologist, physical hunger gradually increases and depends primarily on the time and type of the last meal. Emotional hunger, on the other hand, can suddenly appear and be triggered by things like stress, worry, fatigue or boredom.

Boredom: the most common reason for emotional hunger

“Boredom is probably the number 1 type of emotional hunger,” explains Albers. "We often ignore our true signs of hunger - even if we are already full - and just look for something that will keep us entertained." Before every meal you should ask yourself: What do I want to eat and why do I want it now?

Take hunger seriously

According to the psychologist, it is important to take hunger seriously. You should pause briefly before each meal and ask yourself whether you are really hungry. Emotional hunger usually has completely different needs than eating. The body often demands comfort, calming, entertainment or relaxation, which is compensated for by eating.

Short breaks before eating can help

Instead of being really hungry, you might just need a short break or a walk outside to relieve some stress. Energy levels also play a major role in hunger. "If you sit back and think about it first, you may find that you are just being tired or lacking concentration," said Albers.

Find suitable countermeasures

"Identify what you feel and find the right emotion," advises the doctor. Those who are stressed should find something that has a relaxing effect. If you are bored, you should spend a while doing something that is fun or distracting.

No distraction while eating

"People tend to overlook their emotional hunger and mistake it for real hunger because they are on the phone or in front of the computer," emphasizes Dr. Albers. A good rule of thumb is not to do anything else while eating. Eating in front of the TV should also be avoided.

Fixed meal times can reduce emotional hunger

"Instead of waiting to see how your hunger develops during the day, you should act proactively and know when you are usually hungry," explains the psychologist. Knowing your own hunger pattern would help you identify emerging emotional hunger.

Tips to relieve emotional hunger

Dr. Susan Albers gives a few tips on what to do to curb emotional hunger:

  • Give yourself five minutes before you eat.
  • Check your emotions before you eat.
  • If you get hungry outside of normal meal times, distract yourself from what you are doing.
  • Find something soothing, entertaining, or comforting instead of eating.

Is there a pathological problem behind it?

If you are unable to control emotional hunger and are also experiencing unhealthy consequences such as being overweight, you should see a doctor, for example a doctor, to get to the bottom of it. As a result, in some cases, Albers also has physical causes such as thyroid problems or lack of sleep. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


Video: Emotinal vs Physical Hunger- Ways to Identify The Difference (May 2022).