Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional Hunger

I just finished reading The Flat Belly Diet but have to go back and re-read a few sections before submitting my review. I sort of glazed over last night while reading, it was that sort of book. But there was something that struck me as so important I wanted to share it with you straight away. The book highlights some information that was posted on the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center web site about the differences between physical hunger and emotional hunger. I couldn't find it on said web site now but it is publicly posted on several other sites including Web MD.

This little list is gold, Jerry, gold!

1. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.

2. When you are eating to fill a void that isn't related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you're open to options.

3. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.

4. Even when you are full, if you're eating to satisfy an emotional need, you're more likely to keep eating. When you're eating because you're hungry, you're more likely to stop when you're full.

5. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.

This information just might be the 5th Golden Rule. What are your thoughts?


  1. Good list, but I think #5 is somewhat debatable. After many years of food issues, I feel guilty when I eat...period. It doesn't matter what I'm eating, when, or why. I almost feel like I've no right to eat at all. It may not be healthy thinking, but it's true for me.

  2. That's a heavy burden to carry, Lili. You should never feel guilty about nourishing your body with delicious and healthy food.