Is Hunger Biological Or Is It Just In My Head, And Is There Anything I Can Do To Control It?

Question: Is hunger biological or is it just in my head, and is there anything I can do to control it?

Answer: Hunger certainly has biological, physiological drivers. There are reasons when we need to eat to preserve normal health and function, biologically driven hunger if you will. There's also hunger that's triggered by other factors. It might be emotional triggers, it might be environmental cues, what we're seeing -- the time of day, what other people are doing, what's around us in the environment. And those can be particularly challenging kinds of hunger to deal with.

So, often in response to emotional triggers -- positive emotions as well as negative emotions -- we reach for food. We might when we're frustrated or tired or angry, puzzled, reach for food. Sometimes when we're elated, when we're enjoying the company of others, food seems like it needs to be part of the experience.

One step is just simply to realize that not all hunger is biologically based, physically based. That there are triggers. Armed with that little bit of knowledge, we can often make better choices. We can consider other options for responding to the situation. We can help reduce the frequency with which we find ourselves in high risk situations. And basically, we can expand with some self awareness. Again, our way of responding to cues may not be biologically based.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6763530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6763530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6763530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6763530.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Oscar de la Renta and Oprah Winfrey attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 8, 2010, in New York City.
Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage/Getty Images
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo