When you suddenly have a hankering for a huge, juicy burger, half the time it’s probably not hunger. Your appetite tends to react not just to a real tummy grumble, but also to visual cueing when you see or even just imagine a delectable dessert—also known as takaw-mata. To know if you’re really hungry and not just craving, try these tricks:
1. Listen for a tummy grumble.
According to How Stuff Works, when your stomach is empty two to three hours after eating, it sends a message to the brain. The brain then responds by ordering your digestive muscles to restart the process of pushing food bits left from your previous meal down to your stomach, thus producing the rumbling. So if feel vibrations in your tummy, then you’re truly hungry.
2. Try to pinpoint of there’s anything specific that you want to eat.
A feature on Huffington Post notes that real hunger doesn’t discriminate. If you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything. If you feel like eating cake but you’re willing to pass off a slice of wheat bread, then you’re probably just craving.
3. Drink water.
There are people who mistake thirst for hunger, so try drinking one glass of water and wait for a few minutes. If you hear your stomach grumbling and feel that you still need a full meal after, then your hunger is legit.
4. Distract yourself.
Move away from that box of cupcakes and do something else. Oftentimes, the best way to deal with a craving is to simply ignore it. Aside from visual cues, cravings are often triggered by hormones, emotions, and even memories. If you distance yourself from these, then you'll be able to see whether on not you really need to eat.
5. Eat right on schedule.
Having proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the right times makes it a whole lot easier to see if you’re really hungry. As long as you eat a full and healthy meal, you have less chances of snacking. Of course, situations differ, so if the urge to eat between main meals is justified, always opt for healthier food choices. Pack sticks of carrots, singkamas, or celery for those quick nibbles, or take with you a cup of unsweetened yogurt for a filling treat.