How do you know if you’re hungry or want food only?

It is 5:00 pm and the call for the cookie is felt. Is it a real hunger or a desire to snack? Elements of response with Veronique Liesse, dietician-nutritionist.


Hunger is physiological
Stress, boredom, fatigue… our body compensates
Tips to fight against your desires

Hungry or want to snack?

All the dishes dance before your eyes. But how do you know if they reflect an appetite or a desire to nibble driven by boredom or envy? A nuance of importance because if hunger corresponds to a real physiological need, snacking leads to an uncontrolled food intake, often fatty and sweet, responsible for extra pounds. If this is repeated too often, it can bed metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.
Hunger is physiological

The first of the differences is physiological. “Hunger appears in particular when the glucose drops and the manifestations are heard and felt: stomach cramps, gurgling in the stomach, feeling tired and / or cold, irritability

When you are tormented by hunger, you could also eat everything: a salad as well as a portion of lasagna, a dish of cod or leftover cassoulet, a yogurt or a banana. It doesn’t matter, as long as the food satisfies the appetite. This is why it is not recommended to go shopping on an empty stomach, because you are then ready to buy the whole store!

While the desire to snack is fixed on a very specific food: a cookie, a square of chocolate, a cereal bar … And anything that we can offer you others, such as a yogurt or an apple, does not will tempt you in anything.

The schedule is also an element that can inform you. If the urge to eat occurs in the middle of the afternoon or in front of the TV in the evening, when the previous meal was substantial, it is probably not the hunger that tickles you. “Similarly, if you have experienced negative emotions: intense stress, frustration, fatigue or sadness can cause a tendency to snack because fatty and sweet food is a source of comfort,” adds Veronique Liesse.

Finally, the sight of a food can also make us want to consume it: a colleague who opens a packet of crisps, an advertisement for a chocolate bar, beautiful cakes in the window of a baker. Again, no question of hunger, but just our senses that dictate a desire.
Tips to fight against your desires

Difficult to fight against a desire to eat? Start by changing your mind: call a friend, immerse yourself in work, go for a walk…. Because according to scientists, the urge to snack does not exceed 15 minutes.

So if you manage to occupy your mind for a quarter of an hour, you are taking away the risk of extra pounds. You can also try drinking a glass of water or making yourself a tea. Ingesting liquid fills the stomach and can calm the urge.

Andrew Beck

Andrew Beck is a 28-year-old writer who enjoys playing football and reading books. He is smart and creative, but can also be very sneaky and a bit lazy.

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