Three Ways to Differentiate Between Physical and Emotional Hunger

A blog post by: Alejandro Chabán

If you are hungry and your special someone asks: “What do you want to eat?” and you answer: “I really don’t know!” you might not be as hungry as you think you are. Maybe your body might be signaling a great desire to eat, but a specific meal or a particular craving does not satisfy real physical hunger

So, how can you differentiate between emotional and physical hunger?

1. Emotional vs. Physical Hunger

Emotional hunger is not caused by an actual, physical pain or need for food to survive. This is caused by a desire to eat either out of habit or because you see good food around you, you are happy or upset, or the smell draws you in and you know tasting it will be good. If you take a walk outside or simply distract yourself, this feeling of hunger may disappear.

On the other hand, physical hunger shows itself slowly and is accompanied by physical feelings of emptiness and rumbling in your stomach. You should not ignore this. In fact, you should eat and make good and healthy choices.

2. Rate your hunger level on a scale from 1-10.

Rating your hunger can help you figure out the difference between cravings and an actual physical need to eat.

• If your hunger level falls between 3-4 and your next meal is not for another 2 hours, you should probably eat a snack. However, if your meal is 45-50 minutes away, you should try to wait.

• Preferably, keeping a hunger level between 4-7 (where you are not starving, but are not too full) is ideal. You should never let your body get to that starving level 1, or be so full that you feel sick to your stomach.

3. Do the almond test.

Almonds are a very fulfilling snack. By eating just a few of these, you will satisfy your physical hunger, but if you keep craving chocolate cake, it is emotional hunger.

• Take the time and ask yourself: “Will these almonds calm my hunger?”

• If the answer is no because you truly only want chocolate cake, then your hunger is emotional.

• If the answer is yes, then your body is probably experiencing physical hunger.

Remember: You should have a healthy relationship with food and nourish your body. If you are bored, give yourself some stimulating material, go for a walk, or work on a chore. Do not just eat out of boredom.

You can also try a delicious Yes You Can! Complete Whey Protein Shake, which will certainly satisfy your physical hunger and keep your transformation process on track*.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.