Always Hungry? How to Tell if You Really Need to Eat

Our appetite signal can't be trusted. Here's how to tell if your hunger is genuine.

from Walk It Off

Our appetite signal can’t be trusted. For proof, just look at all the overweight people in this country, who consume more calories than their bodies need. The next time you get the urge to eat, here’s how to tell if your hunger is genuine:

1. Look for a slow build. Physical hunger comes on gradually, while emotional hunger is sudden.

2. Listen for the growl. When your stomach is truly empty, it’ll feel hollow, and you’ll experience gurgling and hunger pangs.

3. Ask yourself what you’re hungry for. True hunger can be satisfied with any food. If only a particular food will do, you’re not really hungry.

4. Wait 10 minutes. Hit the timer on the stove or the one on your sports watch and distract yourself with a task until you hear the ding. Usually by that time, if it’s a craving, it will have passed.

5. Drink eight ounces of water. Many people confuse hunger with thirst, thinking they need food when their bodies actually need fluids. So drink a glass of water, then wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry, it’s legitimate.

6. Stick something else in your mouth. If gum, a lollipop, or a mint satisfies you, it’s an oral craving, not hunger.

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  • Your Comments

    • Niki

      Relax-It would have helped if there was a disclaimer that stated “In some cases this is true”  because I have seen this published many times-not just by RD. If you are so tired of reading things published by RD, why are you here?

    • guest

      RD~You guys need to get your facts straight and start doing research.  These might be true for some people but 1. OFTEN times a craving especially one that you have multiple times is an indication that your body is deficient in a nutrient that that food has. 2.  If you are always hungry that can be a sign of health problems like diabetes or low blood sugar.  I am SICK to death of you guys not doing proper research and publishing nonsense that alot of people believe and don’t seek medical attention instead drink “water” for your supposed cures I am so thankful I no longer get your magazine.  I hope you go out of business if you continue to publish in accurate things as fact.