Your Appetite Awareness Plan: Biological Vs. Psychological Hunger

How Does a Food Addict Know If They Are Really Hungry?

Posted on | Maria Osnowitz | Comments ()

How Does a Food Addict Know If They Are Really Hungry?


What I have implemented for myself is a system that I like to call AA (Appetite Awareness). When I am hungry, I rate my level of hunger on a scale from 1 to 10; 0 to indicate not being hungry at all, and 10 to indicate that I’m feeling starved.


Sometimes we cannot tell the difference between biological and psychological hunger, so we automatically satisfy psychological hunger with food. So how do we know the difference? Biological hunger is when we haven’t eaten for hours. Psychological hunger is when we desire to eat even after eating a big meal or when we are having a craving for a specific food.


When following a diet program, you do have some restrictions. If you follow the YOU: on a Diet program, you are eating 6 times a day. You eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, dessert (every other night) and then a final snack before 7:30pm. You are eating all day and eating whole grain foods that will make you feel full. 


There are times you might desire or crave a specific food like pizza or chocolate cake, and you have conditioned yourself to feed this desire or craving with that specific food. When you are thinking about that pizza, or chocolate cake; that is when my AA (Appetite Awareness) Plan comes in handy.


Here is my plan:

  • I rate my level of hunger: 0 – 10
  • I ask myself, why am I hungry? Is it because I skipped a meal or snack? Sometimes we are caught up in our daily routine and become so busy we forget to eat our snack or even skip a meal. Be sure to have your snack with you if you are not at home. If you are home, make sure that your snack is easy to grab. If you skipped a snack or a meal, then your body is telling you that it is indeed hungry and needs to be fed. Well, that’s simple enough. Eat a handful of nuts, nibble on some raw veggies or drink a bottle of water to hold you over until you either eat your snack or eat your meal.
  • I ask myself, am I hungry because I am just having a bad day or am I bored? If that is the case then your hunger is psychological and what I do is write down what I am feeling and keep this in a feelings log to see if there is a pattern. I don’t feed the feeling, so instead I try to explore it.

My AA (Appetite Awareness) Plan teaches me to differentiate between biological hunger and psychological hunger. Before you know it, you figure out your psychological triggers and overcome them. You become more aware of your feelings and become in control of your appetite.

Let’s face it, we are all going to have a day when no matter how hard we try we might feed that desire or craving with that piece of pizza or chocolate cake. The most important thing to do is to put it in the past and wake up the next day and get right back on program. 

You know that I am a planner so here is my menu for this week:

Sunday and Thursday: stuffed whole wheat pizza

Monday and Saturday:  chia meatballs and whole wheat pasta

Tuesday and Friday: baked tilapia;

Wednesday: turkey dogs with sauerkraut.

Remember my rules. Make a double batch for another meal and keep it simple! See you next week and let me know how you are doing on your journey. Feel free to email me at Riare43a@aol.com, I would love to hear from you.

Blog written by Maria Osnowitz
I am 54 years old, married, and the mother of two grown children. I have been unemployed since June of 2009, and since then have...