Hunger, appetite & satiety

History, culture and even medical science have reflected from time to time that “we are what we eat”. Our eating behaviour, pattern and choices represent a complex interplay between hunger, appetite and satiety. Understanding the factors that affect eating behaviour is important for understanding what we eat and why. Following article will help you understand the basics of these commons terms that are directly related to your health, weight and food.


What is hunger?

By definition, hunger is the physiological “need” for food. Numerous physiological cues tell us we are hungry, such as an empty or growling stomach, a decrease in blood glucose levels, and alterations in circulating hormones (e.g., increased glucagon and ghrelin and decreased insulin).


What is appetite?

By definition, appetite is the psychological desire to eat, and is associated with sensory experiences or aspects of food such as the sight and smell of food, emotional cues, social situations, and cultural conventions.


What is the difference between hunger and appetite?

Hunger acts as the more basic drive, while appetite is more of a reflection of eating experiences. At times we are not hungry but have an appetite (such as seeing a tempting desert after eating full meal) or may be hungry but have not appetite (such as when we are sick).

Nevertheless, both hunger and appetite determine what, when, and why we eat.


What is satiety?

By definition, satiety is the physiological and psychological experience of “fullness” that comes after eating and/or drinking. You can call it as the other side of hunger and appetite is satiety, In simple words, it can also be called as a “feeling of fullness”.

A number of factors influence the experience of satiety including gastric distention, elevations in blood glucose and alterations in circulating hormones (e.g., increased insulin and cholecystokinin, and decreased glucagon).
Generally speaking, feeling full is a function of the amount of food one eats; that is, it typically takes a whole sandwich, not just a bite, to promote satiety. However, sometimes it’s not just the amount of foods eaten, but the characteristics inherent in foods that lead to fullness. The water, fiber and macronutrient content of the foods we eat can all influence satiety.


Satiety index

To find out which foods promote fullness, researchers have developed a satiety rating scale that they call as the “satiety index” (SI).
Foods ranking highest on this SI tended to be high in water or fiber content as well as lower in fat content. Fruits and vegetables are at the top of the SI list of foods. In fact, the highest SI score has been produced by potatoes, which is more than three times the SI of white bread. Other foods ranking high in satiety after potatoes are fish, oat porridge, oranges, apples, wheat pasta, steak and baked beans.


Satiety & weight control

Choosing foods based on SI may help with weight management. However, as you will not find SI rankings on food packages, so here are a few rules of thumb and helpful tips for choosing foods that will help fill your body up without filling it out:
• Prepare healthy dishes that have high water content, like soups, stews and pasta dishes (using tomato vs. cream‐based sauces)
• Fill up on fruits, vegetables, low‐fat or nonfat dairy products and whole grains
• Seek out unprocessed foods, which tend to have a low energy density or few calories per weight
• Get more fiber by eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans
• Choose lean protein sources like fish, poultry, lean meats and beans
• Monitor which foods make you feel particularly satiated
• Slow down when you eat to allow your stomach time to give a proper “gut check” report to the brain so it can register that you are full.

Finally, you must also use an organic and safe appetite suppressant that actually gives you feeling of fullness, controlling your satiety, appetite and hunger simultaneously. As a result you tend to eat less and yet have a feeling of fullness in your stomach. On the other hand, such appetite suppressant not diminish your natural appetite and hunger. Rather, it “optimizes” them both and, hence, preventing you from any calorie deficiencies or malnutrition. Above all, it should be a time-tested supplement that has been successfully used by thousands of appetite-conscious people and weight loss enthusiasts.