It may seem obvious, but it is worth saying that we eat for many reasons — hunger and appetite, of course — but also to celebrate, to be social, to soothe and to relieve boredom. To prevent overeating and weight gain, we first have to understand what drives us to eat.
Hunger: The physical sensation that you need to eat
Think about the rumbling in your stomach. That is a physical sensation. Numerous studies have looked at how hormones initiate and end eating playing a major role in determining body weight. The physical sensation of hunger or its absence is tied to these hormones. The time of day, timing of meals, emotions such as stress or contentment, and even the types of foods you eat all affect these hormones.
Appetite: The desire to eat
Problems with appetite regulation can be mild and contribute to gradual changes in weight or they can be severe such as anorexia and bulimia. Appetite problems may be caused by disease, medications or even psychological issues.
Satiety: The condition of physically feeling full
Research has shown that feeling full turns off hunger and appetite. You can feel fuller longer by eating solids over liquids, not skipping meals, choosing high-volume and low-calorie foods (vegetables and fruit), and substituting whole grains for refined grain products. The answer is still out, however, on whether individual diets — for instance high versus low carb or protein or fat offer an advantage when it comes to satiety.
This is a term coined for all of the other reasons that we eat. Do you fall prey to mindless eating? Have you noticed that when you order a super-size meal you typically eat all of it? Do certain situations, such as watching TV or talking on the phone, trigger overeating?
Yes, the reasons we eat are complex. Given the epidemic of obesity, it is obvious that overeating is a significant problem. It is critical to find ways to turn down hunger, normalise our desire for food, feel full and satisfied, and deal with the situations that trigger us to mindlessly eat.
SourceL The Daily Star, June 20, 2009