Difference Between Hunger and Appetite

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Hunger and Appetite

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The bodies of humans include a variety of components and substances. There are several kinds of urges and feelings, which might happen at various times. These wants are felt by humans, who then take the appropriate actions to fulfill them. These feelings and wants are fulfilled by a person's guardians or by them when they reach adulthood from the very beginning of their life. Among these numerous demands are hunger, thirst, sleep, family, prestige, friendship, independence, and many more. These items have some distinctions, even though they appear similar because of other things. The first and second of these drives are hunger and Appetite.

In other words, hunger is the need for food and is brought on by the brain detecting changes in hormone and nutrient levels in the blood, such as when your blood sugar levels fall many hours after eating. Contrarily, Appetite is the urge to seek out or consume food and is frequently impacted by our emotions, routines, and memories, in addition to the appearance, smell, and flavor of food. Since Appetite, unlike hunger, is a taught behavior, it may either suggest that you have control over your eating habits or, on the other hand, that your Appetite may overcome feelings of hunger and fullness and cause you to eat more than you would want.

Hunger Vs. Appetite

Appetite and hunger are food-related urges. Both nudge us toward food. Hunger and Appetite, however, differ significantly from one another. Hunger is a physiological demand brought on by alterations in your body's chemistry. An instinctive physiological response is sparked by the sensation of hunger, which involves a desire and a sensory or psychological reaction. As a result, the primary distinction between hunger and Appetite is that one involves the need for food while the other involves the desire for food.

The physiological desire for food that causes hunger is the body's signaling that you should eat. A hormone known as ghrelin is released by cells in your GI tract when blood glucose levels fall below a particular threshold, and your stomach is empty. To live your best life and engage in activities like walking, chatting on the phone, reading social media, and exercising, your body needs fuel to maintain homeostasis and carry out biological processes like thinking, digestion of food, and breathing (yup, they burn calories). Appetite is the term for the need to eat, which is also a brain reaction. Even when the human body is complete and has had enough food, hunger can still exist. It can also happen just by looking at a platter of food or hearing someone generally talk about food.

Difference Between Hunger and Appetite in Tabular Form

Parameters Of Comparison Hunger Appetite
Description Hunger is the feeling that causes us to want to eat and is also a physiological response. Appetite is the term for the need to eat, which is also a brain reaction.
Outcomes Internal signals Outside cues
Appearance Even when one is complete, one's hunger might make one feel like eating anything, which can happen at any moment. Anytime one's stomach is empty, or after a long period without eating, one feels hungry.
Sensation Type Sensation Yearning, desire, and sentimentality
Occurs From Arises from the human body. Arises from the human mind.
Timing Gradual Sudden
Feelings Of Hunger symptoms include gurgling, rumbling, or growling in the stomach, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. The common signs of Appetite include salivation and stomach muscular contractions.
Desire Zero Or No trigger. Usually brought on by a trigger.
Results In Resulting in pain & discomfort Doesn't create discomfort or pain
Ignorance Not be overlooked Can be overlooked

What Is Hunger?

Hunger is a symptom of a complicated network of physiological and hormonal signals. The brain, neurological system, pancreas, stomach, and the remainder of the gastrointestinal tract are a few of the bodily organs involved. Ghrelin and leptin are the two main component hormones responsible for hunger signals. Ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, gastric motility, and gastric acid secretion when you haven't eaten in a while, is produced by the stomach (and, to a lesser extent, other regions of the digestive system). The hour before meals, when your blood sugar is low, and your stomach is empty, ghrelin levels are at their peak. On the other side, after you've eaten enough, your fat cells release leptin, which communicates with your brain to tell it to stop responding to hunger signals since you have enough calories stored. Many additional hormones, such as insulin and cortisol, are implicated in hunger and appetite signals.

The definition of hunger might vary. When decision-makers or foreign assistance organizations talk about hunger, they often mean the inability to consume enough food over an extended period, frequently caused by inadequate accessibility, scarcity, and poverty. There are still people in the world who battle with this form of hunger, including those below the poverty line and those who live in rural areas with poor access to food, even if it is less prevalent than in underdeveloped countries. In general, the form of hunger we typically picture is the one that everyone is familiar with: the momentary pain of wanting to eat, which might include signs like a grumbling stomach, moderate dizziness, and occasionally moodiness, nausea, and a desire to eat food. This type of hunger will be our main concern.

Process Of Hunger

A hormone known as ghrelin is released by cells in your GI tract when blood glucose levels fall below a particular threshold, and your stomach is empty. Your brain receives instructions from ghrelin to boost stomach acid production and GI motility to prepare your body for food. Hence, you start to feel hungry. The brain's ability to perceive rewards is likewise influenced by ghrelin. Humans have evolved to make eating enjoyable since we must eat to sustain this homeostatic demand. This may explain and tels why so many people like eating. When the stomach extends (when it is full of food), ghrelin production stops, signaling to your brain that you are no longer hungry.

Factors Affecting Hunger

Eating Habits Affecting Hunger

What you eat can significantly impact how hungry and hungry you feel. Foods with high protein, fat, fiber, and complex carbohydrate content are often more satisfying. This is because they take longer to digest, which keeps food in your stomach for longer and causes a delayed release of nutrients into the bloodstream. However, you may feel starving because highly processed meals create erratic blood sugar swings, especially if they are high in simple sugars. Contrary to the gradual prolonged release of glucose from complex carbs, blood sugar often increases immediately after consuming processed meals and falls swiftly shortly after.

Hunger Depending On Habits

In addition, lifestyle elements like stress and exercise might have an impact on Appetite and hunger. For example, if your body needs more calories and nutrients to function, you may eat more often if you exercise regularly. However, for some people, regular exercise might reduce hunger. 6 Appetite may be significantly influenced by mood. Your Appetite may alter, for instance, if you're anxious, bored, unhappy, or feeling other powerful emotions. Some people may experience and feel an increase in hunger as a result of experiencing intense emotions, but others may find it extremely difficult to eat anything at all.

Medications Influencing Hunger

Medications may also have an impact on hunger. Sometimes this happens as a side effect, and your doctor may recommend a drug designed expressly to boost or decrease your hunger.

What Is Appetite?

The urge to eat is one physical demand that is satisfied by Appetite. However, a sensory or psychological response triggers an uncontrollable bodily response. In other words, if you sight or smell a mouthwatering, mouthwatering cuisine, your stomach will constrict, your lips will start to salivate, and you'll nearly taste and feel the food's texture. This reaction will arise just by thinking about the meal. This coordinated action between the brain and the stomach is a conditioned reaction to eating. However, Appetite is not a physical requirement like hunger; as a result, it does not make you feel weak or dizzy. Thus, Appetite may be regulated and disregarded. This is not hard to do if you learn to manage your head.

Balancing Appetite

Having a lower appetite is different from controlling your Appetite. This occurs when a person has a diminished urge to eat despite hunger and the body's continual demand for nutrition. During sickness or as a side effect of medical therapy, a person's Appetite may decrease. With aging, Appetite may also decline.

Consult and an indication of a doctor if you realize you are losing weight without attempting it. A persistent increase in unexplained hunger should also be discussed with your doctor. This may be brought on by certain drugs or signify an underlying disease.

Maintaining Appetite Under Control

  • Eat consistently. You'll be more likely to choose nutritious foods and be less likely to overeat if you eat before you feel truly hungry.
  • Eat gradually. Your body might take up to 20 minutes to detect fullness. Therefore, take your time and, before serving up a second helping, wait at least 10 minutes to see whether you are indeed still hungry.
  • Eat a variety of foods. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are foods high in water and fiber that help fill you up and reduce the urge to snack. Consuming these meals and a small amount of protein and dietary fat will boost contentment.
  • The kitchen has a handy list of "Alternatives to Eating." First, ask yourself if you are indeed hungry before reaching for food. If the answer is no, choose an enjoyable activity from your list of eating alternatives and do it instead.

Healthy Appetite

The existence of an appetite is beneficial. It is more probable that you will consume the necessary nutrients if you have a healthy appetite. However, it might be simple for someone to allow their hunger to override their better judgment, resulting in overeating and obesity. Remind yourself that maintaining an appetite can assist you in maintaining a more balanced perspective on food and eating.

Main Differences Between Hunger and Appetite in Points

  • Hunger is the desire to consume food. On the other hand, appetite is the desire, need, or impulse to eat something.
  • Once the stomach is empty, the body starts to give hunger cues. On the other hand, the human brain is responsible for hunger cues, which appear either when the stomach is empty or not.
  • A person may feel hungry only when their stomach is empty. But, on the other hand, hunger urges might strike any time.
  • Internal cues and signals cause hunger. On the other hand, appetite is a response to external cues and signals.
  • Hunger is the feeling that causes us to want to eat and is also a physiological response. On the other hand, Appetite refers to the desire for food, which is also a brain reaction.
  • A physical requirement is hunger. Nonetheless, the sensory response to eating is Appetite.
  • Hunger will hurt and make you physically uncomfortable. But, at the same time, Appetite doesn't result in discomfort or agony.
  • Signs of hunger include gurgling, rumbling, or growling in the stomach, as well as headaches, nausea, and other physical symptoms. Saliva production and stomach muscular tightness are two symptoms of hunger.


Examining whether you would eat a dish you don't feel really pleased about might help determine if you are truly hungry or merely have an appetite for eating. In most cases, being hungry causes symptoms other than just thinking about eating, such as hunger pangs, rumbling tummies, lightheadedness, and for some people, poor energy, trouble focusing, malaise, or nausea. Hunger is a natural condition. Your brain, which depends on the glucose, will start to produce hormones that instruct your body to eat when your blood glucose levels fall too low. You could get agitated, angry, or impatient if your body doesn't obtain the nutrition required. Exercise, along with maintaining a healthy diet, is essential. Avoid addictions, and take other required precautions. If these little actions are done correctly, they have the power to alter someone's life significantly.


  • https://eating-made-easy.com/hunger-vs-appetite-whats-the-difference/


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"Difference Between Hunger and Appetite." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-hunger-and-appetite-939>.

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