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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Hunger vs craving: A nutritionist explains the basic differences

Hunger comes with specific physical symptoms; craving is an idea of wanting to eat something specific

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 23, 2021 12:30:53 pm
hunger versus craving, what is hunger, what is craving, difference between hunger and craving, nutritionist explains difference between hunger and craving, indian express newsAre you hungry right now, or are having cravings? (Photo: Pixabay)

When do you know if you are actually hungry, or are simply craving a certain food? In the pandemic, especially in the lockdowns, having to work from home, we have experienced digestive confusion, reaching out to our refrigerators and kitchen shelves more frequently than ever before, so as to fill our tummies with some kind of food.

But nutritionist Nmami Agarwal points out that there is a stark difference between hunger and craving. “If you are hungry within 1 to 1.5 hours of eating a good meal, then you are probably experiencing a craving. Hunger comes with specific physical symptoms — stomach growling, dizziness — your body is telling you, you need fuel. These symptoms disappear after eating.

“A craving, on the other hand, is more directed towards a specific food, texture, or flavour. You would want to eat something sweet or salty. If you are hungry, and see a bowl of salad in front of you, you would just dig in. On the other hand, you would think you are hungry, and see a bowl of salad, but then you would want to eat something else — that is craving,” she says in an Instagram video.


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A post shared by Nmami (@nmamiagarwal)

Elaborating more on the difference between the two in the caption, Agarwal writes:


-Are usually for comfort foods, such as chocolate or sweets.
-Lead to eating that makes you feel good at first, but then guilty later.
-Increase during a woman’s pregnancy and menstrual cycle.
-May be stronger when you’re dieting, especially if you’re giving up your favorite foods.


-Usually occurs when you haven’t eaten for a few hours or more.
-Results in a rumbling stomach, headache or feeling of weakness.
-Can be satisfied by a healthy snack or meal.

It is time you differentiate between these two and work on it, the nutritionist advises.

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