Understanding What Your Hunger Cues Really Mean

Infants have an intuitive sense of when they are hungry and when they are full. Somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, people tend to lose this sense of true hunger and the result is often overeating. If you’re following a weight loss plan in Winter Park, you’ll need to get back in touch with your body’s hunger cues. A specialist in weight loss can help you learn to identify the issues that commonly mimic the feelings of hunger, which will assist you in reaching your weight loss goals.

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Understanding Hunger and Appetite

There’s a fine difference between hunger and appetite. Learning to identify when you’re truly hungry compared to when your appetite is triggered will be crucial in achieving fast weight loss. When your body needs an influx of calories for proper functioning, it releases neurotransmitters, including Neuropeptide Y (NPY). The end result is that your brain recognizes the need for calories and instructs you to consume something. In short, hunger is a bodily need for nourishment. In contrast, appetite is your desire to eat in order to fulfill a non-essential need. For example, you might not have been truly hungry before you joined a friend for coffee at a café. However, if you pass by a display case of bakery treats on your way to order coffee, your appetite might be stimulated and you might order a pastry, even if you’re not really hungry.

Identifying Common Mimickers

Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine if you’re experiencing a true hunger cue or if your appetite is triggered for some other reason. Dehydration is a common culprit. If you haven’t been drinking enough water, you may misinterpret your body’s response as being hunger. Before eating a meal or snack, try drinking a glass of water. Other common mimickers of hunger include stress and boredom. In these cases, a person might consume unneeded calories simply as a coping mechanism. Fatigue is another common problem. Many people eat more when they are overly tired because eating seems like a good way to get an energy boost. In this case, taking a nap can help ward off false appetite cues.