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Hunger vs. Appetite | What’s the Difference?


Do you use the words hunger and appetite interchangeably? Perhaps before watching this video you thought that these two words were one in the same, just like I did. Well, I got some news for you, they are two distinct concepts. Let´s get into it!

Hunger is an expression of our body’s desire and urge to consume food. Hunger is not something that occurs all of a sudden in our body, especially not when we experience stress or anxiety. In fact, hunger gradually builds in our body as our body’s energy depletes and we are in the need of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, nutrients, etc. When you ignore your hunger and do not consume food you may start feeling dizzy, experience headaches, stomach pains, weakness, tiredness and even fainting.

Appetite usually occurs suddenly and has a sense of urgency to it, you must eat this thing now! Unlike with hunger where you will not be so fussy to eliminate the sensation, appetite typically is focused on a desire of a specific food. Let’s say you generally consume 2 slices of pizza and now suddenly you have this urge to eat pizza, so you have an appetite for it. You might find that after eating 2 slices you still have this urge to consume more pizza. You might then end up eating way more pizza than you usually would have because you are not actually quenching your hunger, but you are trying to quench an emotional feeling, trying to quench your brain. Overeating because of an appetite can lead to all sorts of trouble, such as weight-gain, becoming bloated, etc.

Next time when you suddenly start feeling hungry for pizza, chocolate, cake, and other specific goodies, just know that it might not truly be hunger, but actually just an appetite.

For a video version of the post, watch below!

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