Cravings VS. Hunger

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Woman taking a bite of food

How to distinguish hunger from cravings

There is a difference.

I remember hearing about this topic on the Model Health Show Podcast with Shawn Stevenson and it really helped put things into perspective for me. This podcast is awesome btw.

Sometimes my appetite gets so crazy! 

Cravings are a normal part of life.

I crave chocolate sometimes. Or chocolate chip cookies.

Cravings are not always “bad,” or whatever you may deem unhealthy.

Sometimes I crave protein, a giant raw salad, salt, or fat!

Cravings can tell you what you body needs sometimes and it’s pretty rad to be able to tune in and listen when it speaks.

But not always….

Cravings can be associated with habits.

Example: Having the shake you always drink after the gym, ice cream after dinner, a muffin with your coffee, or even just driving/walking past food can trigger a craving. 

Your cravings and appetite may just be on auto-pilot. You could be eating the food out of habit without actually being hungry…

How can you tell if you’re hungry or if it is just a craving?


Remember this:

  • Cravings happen in the brain
  • Hunger happens in the stomach
  • Cravings are for something specific

And if you are truly hungry – you would eat just about anything! 

In the book titled “It Starts with Food,” by Melissa Hartwig, she said this so well: 

“You are truly hungry if you would eat fish and steamed broccoli.”

I love that distinction! 

I’ve definitely been so ravenous that I would eat something cold, raw or all together bland. 

Three things I ask myself when I feel like my appetite gets out of control and my cravings take over:

A – Where is the sensation coming from?

B – Is the craving for something specific?

C – Could I eat steamed broccoli and fish right now?

You can get in the habit of doing this too! 


P.S. Sometimes all you need is a guide. Breaking a habit isn’t easy, but it doesn’t need to be hard. With the right help, anything is possible. Whenever you are ready, I am here. Let’s get clear on your goals and a strategy to help get you there – book a FREE 20 minute consult with me here.

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