Real hunger and emotional hunger. Do you know how to differentiate them?

July 27, 2020 by No Comments

Real hunger vs emotional hunger

When we think about the concept of Being hungry , most of the time we associate it with physiological sensation. But did you know that there is more than one type of hunger?

We can differentiate between two types , the one produced by our body because it needs food to survive and that associated with emotions.

It is a sensation that depends on multiple factors and biochemical processes, many of them related to different hormones. Also, with areas of the brain associated with happiness, feelings, a sense of reward, etc.

What is real or physiological hunger? 

It is the first type of hunger that we all think of when we refer to this concept. It is related to the physical sensation and instinct to feed ourselves and obtain the different necessary nutrients. Survival comes into play.

One of the main factors that trigger hunger is the drop in blood sugar.

  • Ghrelin: is a type of hormone that is synthesized in the stomach and is responsible for generate appetite . It is activated when you need to ingest nutrients.

In a physical way, it manifests itself with roaring, stomach movements and appears progressively. Also among its functions we can highlight that it participates in the regulation of energy metabolism and allows growth hormone to be secreted.

  • Leptin: we could say that it is the hormone responsible for the opposite functions of ghrelin, it inhibits its production. It is what provides the feeling of satiety.

It is produced in adipocytes. It is one that provides a feeling of satiety. Regulates appetite. It is made up of 146 amino acids.

In the hypothalamus there are receptors for leptin , when they react, they send a signal to the brain indicating that we are satiated.

It is becoming more and more common in ordinary society, to have resistance to it. This appears as a consequence of overweight and obesity, diabetes, and as well as overexposure, causing the brain to stop reacting to it.

How to regulate leptin and ghrelin?

  • Consume omega 3: is found in various blue fish and shellfish. Improves leptin levels, as well as its transport.
  • Keep the digestive system , ingest probiotics and prebiotics that will maintain correct intestinal transit.
  • Avoid flavorings and glutamate: since they inhibit leptin and increase ghrelin.

What is emotional hunger?

hunger excites l is characterized because it is not linked to a real physiological sensation. It appears in response to certain negative emotions, in most cases, although it can lead to positive emotions.

You are exposed to permanent stress : High levels of the hormone cortisol trigger hunger hormones.

Sometimes, this type of hunger appears as a mechanism to feel that we are managing a sense of control. It is related to stress and anxiety. The body responds to these emotions with an activation of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.

For a period of certain time , it causes a relief of these negative sensations. It usually occurs cyclically since the reward mechanisms are activated and the body releases, each time this occurs dopamine , one of the hormones of happiness, and also directly influences behavior, activity motor and motivation.

Why do they appear and how to differentiate them?

The way they appear are completely different:

physiological hunger increases as time goes by. gradual way , without being immediate. There is no preference for certain types of foods and it allows you to eat with awareness and select appropriate options. It is inherent to the human being.

Depending on the type of food eaten, it can occur sooner or later. For example, proteins and fats need more time to be digested, they provide a greater feeling of satiety. In carbohydrates, it will depend on the type: those with a high glycemic index will make this sensation appear earlier since they are digested quickly, those with a low glycemic index , will On the contrary.

Emotional hunger appears suddenly . The person tries to satisfy this false sense of appetite, with palatal foods that produce a feeling of satisfaction, for example, sweets, chocolate etc. It occurs when the person does not know how to manage or identify sensations and feelings .

Also, it is recommended to assess whether it occurs due to a specific problem or situation or if it is a common problem. It is recommended to consult a health or nutrition specialist.

Influence of social networks:

  • Constant exposure to photographs of food, meals, dishes etc. appetizing is growing. Many times, people “eat with our eyes” , attract our attention and arouse a false sensation of hunger. They provoke the desire to eat when viewing the images, creating a completely false feeling of hunger.

Tips to increase the feeling of satiety

  1. Include protein in all our meals and / or increase the amount . It is together with fats, those that provide the greatest feeling of satiety. It contributes to increase the secretion of the hormone peptideYY which also contributes to the reduction of hunger.

Remember that: protein is responsible for maintaining, repairing and building the muscle tissue.

  1. Increase the amount of fat: together with protein, increase this sensation. It occurs because digestions are slower.

Produces oleitanolamide, another of the agents involved in the decrease of appetite.

  1. Complex carbohydrates . They take longer to digest than simple ones. In addition, some, such as oats, have a large amount of fiber, providing a greater feeling of fullness.
  2. Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables : these foods are full micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It has a lot of fiber , which helps improve intestinal transit and increases the feeling of satiety when consumed with other foods. The caloric intake is very low in proportion to the volume,
  3. Supplements : there are different supplements that can help reduce hunger pangs. It is recommended to treat this problem by looking at the root, identifying the emotions that generate it, and trying to cut the problem from the core. A supplement in this type of situation can be a problem with a greater background.
  4. Drink water : Although it may seem a basic concept, the feeling of hunger can be confused with that of having sed.

Relationship of emotional hunger with eating disorders (ED)

Emotional hunger can trigger eating disorders. Binge eating is becoming more and more common and frequent in the population.

Eating disorders cannot be reduced to anorexia and bulimia, since nowadays there are a multitude of new disorders that have emerged:

  • Binge eating disorder: leads to bingeing, but without purging or compensation.
  • Orthorexia : it is based on the obsession to consume food that the affected person considers healthy,
  • Rumination disorder: involves repeatedly chewing and spitting food.
  • Ednos or unspecified eating disorders: does not follow any established pattern.

In tca, leptin and ghrelin are not secreted correctly. They usually have a cause other than a physical state, related to some emotional problem or emotion management.

If you believe you have some type of eating disorder, or related symptoms, recommends going to a professional.

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