Hunger vs. Appetite: What is the difference?

Filed in: Article, detox, health-tips, weight-loss, womens-health.

Hunger and appetite are two very different things. Hunger is the physical need for food, while appetite is the desire for food. Hunger occurs with low levels of glucose in the blood, several hours after eating: it is a protective mechanism that ensures that your body receives adequate food. Appetite is the conditioned response to food, it is a sensory reaction to the appearance or smell of food. It is the appetite that can cause "your eyes to be bigger than your stomach".

Our appetite is closely related to our behavior, but it also receives signals from our digestive tract, brain and fat tissue. Having a greater appetite or the feeling of wanting to "eat everything that is in his way", in my clinical experience is due to his biochemistry and / or an emotional connection he has formed with food. When you consider the nature of your increased appetite, it is not often that someone hears broccoli crave. Cravings are generally for highly processed foods, high in refined sugars and low quality fats.

Appetite is what controls your cravings and this is influenced by the sensory reaction to food, so your appetite can increase or decrease according to your taste preferences, what foods are available to you, your health and your emotional state. Appetite can be increased or decreased by hormonal factors and stress. There is a saying that it is better to eat until it is full, or still a little hungry and there is some truth in this. Most people are "nourished" much further when their natural satiety signals are activated. In the hectic world in which we live, many people eat when they are distracted or in the race and have literally lost the ability to hear the signs of intrinsic satiety.

Satiety is also affected by our thoughts, feelings and emotional connections with food. The type of food we consume also affects it. For example, low quality fats can leave someone with a feeling of fullness because fats are very satiating, but everything that the person has actually consumed is something that has been fried, is full of energy but has very little value of micronutrients. I like to make people think about the nutrient density of the food they eat. For example, an avocado is a high-fat food, but it is a rich source of monounsaturated fats (good fats) and contains 19 essential vitamins and minerals.

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Our metabolism is another factor that can affect our hunger. The metabolism, in a nutshell, is the speed at which the body converts food into energy. The metabolic rate is governed by the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a gland located just at the base of the neck and the hormones it produces establish the resting rate of energy production. Our metabolism is also influenced by muscle mass and hormones. An increase in metabolism or "rapid" is associated with an increase in hunger; This is specifically the case of athletes. The greater your muscle mass, the higher your metabolic rate and the muscle cells will require more energy than the fat cells in the body. In theory, people with a higher muscle mass would therefore have a higher level of hunger, however, due to the hormonal mechanisms that involve insulin, leptin and ghrelin, as well as emotional factors, it is not always A) Yes.

The brain does not pursue the feeling of a "full stomach", it pursues the signs of satiety to indicate that we have eaten. The brain receives signals of several different hormones that indicate when food is needed or not. Signs of satiety sent to the brain after consumption of fats or proteins, as well as hormones; Insulin and leptin, signal to the brain that you have eaten. These signals converge on the dopamine-producing neurons in the hypothalamus of the brain. This changes the production of dopamine to the reward center of the brain, which in turn controls the motivation of the food. Dopamine transmits reward signals and low levels of dopamine have been associated with overeating.

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Regulation and the capacity for self-control of appetite have been the subject of much debate in the last decade. The hypothalamus in the brain is the main regulator of the human appetite. Leptin, a hormone produced by our fat cells, provides a negative feedback loop to indicate when we should stop eating. Increased appetite has been linked to hormonal imbalance, mental disorders and, of course, stress. Self-regulation is ideal, however, many people can no longer differentiate between true signs of satiety and psychological influences and, of course, the hormonal imbalance will also influence the appetite. Any woman who has experienced PMS knows how out of control sugar cravings can feel on the way to menstruation!

There is a lot of miscommunication and misuse of appetite suppressants and artificial sweeteners these days. Many appetite suppressants act on the central nervous system and some have had to withdraw from the market due to their adverse cardiovascular risks. By using appetite suppressants, you may not see the message your body is sending you. There is a reason behind why you have a greater appetite. This reason can be nutritional, biochemical or emotional, but it is important to recognize the help signal of your body and solve the underlying problems.

New research indicates that artificial sweeteners can actually stimulate appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings and even stimulate fat storage, leading to weight gain. The fat and proteins in food communicate relatively quickly between the mouth and the center of satiety in the brain, while artificially sweetened foods do not use this mechanism, so you can easily eat too much total food.

Food cravings and appetite regulation are complex issues, but I always encourage people to explore their emotional connections with cravings. Finish the phrase "Food is …" and explore your answers, a concept that I explore in detail in my book Accidentally Overweight.

Have you ever noticed an emotional connection with your cravings?


Tags: detoxification, Health Tips, weightloss, the health of women

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