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Hunger vs. Appetite

Difference between Hunger and Appetite
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Am I really hungry again? But I just ate an hour ago… could my body already want more food? How can I know if my body is truly telling me to eat?

These are questions you might find yourself asking day today. But maybe you haven’t thought as much about what urge you are actually feeling…

There is a distinct difference between hunger and appetite, though quite often one’s appetite for food is mistaken for hunger. The truth is, they are far from the same thing… and therefore they lead to far different effects on our body.

Here I broke down some major differences between hunger and appetite. Look below this table to find answers to some other common questions you may face about your experience with these two similar feelings, but completely different urges.

Hunger vs Appetite

How Does Hunger vs. Appetite Affect Me Personally?

There are many factors that affect how hunger and appetite vary for you, depending on qualities about you and your environment.


Age plays a factor in one’s capacity and ability to digest and ingest. It is important to note the effects of food as we advance in age. Desserts that you digested quickly in your teens take a longer time as you advance in age.

Time / Seasons

Both hunger and appetite are more robust in winter than in summer. Cold temperatures in winter direct heat inwards so there is more ability and capacity to digest them. Hardy soups are satisfying in winter, but not so much in summer.

Your Health

It is important to note how your state of health compromises your ability to digest and ingest food. Those who have had the ‘flu’ know there is no hunger for days. Therefore, avoiding food during flu is a good response of the body to allow ‘toxins’ to digest and get the body back into balance.

How Should I Deal With My Appetite Urge Then?

My Personal Suggestion: Train your mind to engage in an activity that brings you joy! Perhaps go for a walk, listen to inspiring podcasts, try yoga, or any other physical activity that’s joyful. But the answer is to not try to satisfy your appetite with food if it is not the appropriate time.

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