Difference Between Hunger And Appetite – Or Are They Essentially The Same?

Introduction And Background

The human body has many needs and wants, most of which are explained by science. For instance, we feel the need to wear a sweater in the winters to protect our body from feeling too cold or we sit in the air conditioner to escape from the heat. The same way, we feel hungry because our brain tells us that our stomach is empty and we need to fill it up in order to relieve the muscles and give the body energy. However, there is a difference between hunger and appetite. But they are also essentially the same.

Why Are Hunger And Appetite Two Different Things?

They are two different things because their mechanism is different. People might take it as the same thing but they are related in terms of habit only, nothing else. Hunger is when you feel the need and want to eat something. Appetite is the amount of food you eat or like to eat at a single sitting or various sittings. Appetite is more of a habit while hunger is more of a response. They are connected through food only. Appetite is the desire, and hunger is the notion for need of food. When one says they are feeling hungry, they mean that they want food. There is no specificity to the amount of food they are having. With appetite, there is a strong liking for food involved. Because appetite links directly to how much you eat. Sort of like when people say ‘he has a big appetite’, they mean that he eats a lot.

How To Control Hunger?

Controlling hunger can only happen if you control your appetite as well. If you eat a lot, the stomach is bound to enlarge as well and create a lot of space which would need to be filled more often with more food than before. Therefore, it is likely you feel hungry in short intervals of time and the amount of food to satisfy that hunger will also be increased. Hence, to control the hunger, you need to be in the habit of eating less too and to develop a smaller waist as well. Hunger can also be controlled by eating foods that can satisfy the muscles. For instance, it is noticed that people who have eggs or other protein oriented meals for breakfast do not feel hungry throughout the day while those who are deprived of it feel the need to eat even if they’ve had breakfast. The reason behind this is, proteins generally soothe the muscles of the stomach so you don’t feel that hungry anymore.

How To Control The Appetite?

Controlling the appetite isn’t that hard either. There are some techniques to it and that will make the appetite smaller. The stomach size matters here too. Do not get into the habit of eating a lot because it will cause problems later on. The moment you increase your appetite, you keep on increasing it. The way to set it in control is to eat limited portions and then control the hunger pangs until your body does not feel that hungry because it has become accustomed to the amount of food you eat. There are several ways of reducing the appetite:
• Drink water before every meal. It fills up the stomach and automatically makes you eat less since you feel fuller sooner.
• Try not to overeat and stop before you feel full. It might be hard to do but it is actually really helpful at times.
• Clench in that stomach of yours with Ab exercises. With the Ab exercises, your stomach will stay as it is and it won’t be stretched to create more space for more food. Thus, the appetite stays in control.
• Walk before having dinner and not after. After having dinner, people generally tend to walk but walking can bring back that hunger. If you walk before, you stay fit and satisfy the need of food created by that walk when you eat.

Hunger And Appetite’s Connection

Explained above as well, appetite is kind of controlled by hunger. Unless you feel hungry and want to eat more, you won’t keep eating obviously. Thus controlling hunger is actually controlling the appetite. But the appetite has a more quantitative relation. That is the only significant difference perhaps other than the mechanism of the two things.


Now that you’re aware of the difference, you’ll know how to treat the two separately and not get confused at what you’re about to do if you diet. Because controlling the appetite and controlling the hunger are two entirely different things, even if they sound similar to the dieter at the point of dieting where both have to be controlled.