We often use the 2 words casually. In actuality the mean different things. Knowing the difference will allow you to be a more mindful eater with awareness of what your body needs for nourishment.

Collins dictionary definition:


A desire to for food and drink.

It’s an emotional and psychological need to satisfy.



Pain, weakness or nausea through the lack of food.


This is a physical need for food to keep you alive.

So, what are you? Hungry or have an appetite?


How to tell?

When you are hungry one char siew pau can satisfy your hunger. After that your appetite wants to take over because it looks, smells and tastes so good you want to have 2 more!

Signs that you need food immediately are from your stomach and your blood.

  • Growling and rumbling: An empty stomach has no manners. If you don’t feed it, your stomach will send an embarrassing call for food. This rumbling signal is called a hunger pang.

Hunger pangs actually are plain old muscle contractions. When your stomach’s full, these contractions and their continual waves down the entire length of the intestine moves food through your digestive tract. When your stomach’s empty, the contractions just squeeze air, and that makes noise.

  • Getting that empty feeling: Every time you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that converts food into glucose, the source of energy for your body. When the glucose circulating in your blood declines, you may feel empty, which prompts you to eat. Most people experience the natural rise and fall of glucose as a relatively smooth pattern that lasts about four hours.

What you can do:

  • Eat regularly. If you eat before you reach the point of starving, you’ll be more likely to make healthy eating decisions and less likely to overeat.
  • Eat slowly. It takes your body up to 20 minutes to recognize that you’re full.  When you feel like a second helping, wait at least 10 minutes to see if you’re really still hungry.
  • Eat foods with volume. Foods with lots of water and fibre (veggies, fruits, whole grains) help to fill you up so you are less tempted to snack unnecessarily.  Eating these foods in combination with a little protein and a little dietary fat will help increase satisfaction.
  • Keep “Fun Alternative Snacks” handy in the kitchen. When you’re about to reach for a snack, ask yourself if you’re really hungry.  If the answer is no, pick something fun off your list instead.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of what you love. The more you restrict yourself from certain foods the more you are likely to crave them. Skip diets that require eliminating certain foods or food groups, and instead eat the less healthy foods in small portions.  If you have trouble limiting portions, don’t keep tempting foods in the house and share a treat with a friend when you eat out or portion them out before storing them on the shelf.

We are bombarded by all sorts of messages in today’s instant gratification world, all designed to make you want to consume. Knowing the difference between hunger and appetite is a really useful step to weight loss. Be honest and listen to your body and eat when you are HUNGRY.

Leave us a comment to let us know how we’re doing to help you on your journey.

Fit2Go.Asia – celebrate a better way of life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *