6 Common Psychological Hunger Triggers
Physical hunger is triggered by an empty stomach and driven by your body’s need to procure more energy, many factors play into psychological hunger.
Boredom eating may not only occur as a result of boredom but also various triggers outlined below. For example, stress, poor sleep, and easy access to junk foods may make you more likely to eat out of boredom.
Here are some of the most common psychological hunger triggers.
Boredom is one trigger for psychological hunger.
In fact, boredom eating may be even more common than other types of emotional eating, such as stress eating.
Additionally, people who are prone to boredom may be more likely to overeat or emotionally eat.
Chronic mental stress may alter your hunger hormones, triggering food cravings.
Such hormonal changes may cause people with excess weight to be more susceptible to stress-induced food cravings.
When people around you are eating or drinking, you may be more likely to do so even if you’re not hungry.
One small study in 65 college students found that those seated with someone who got a second helping of food were 65% more likely to get seconds themselves than those seated with someone who didn’t get seconds.
If you’ve ever had a food craving triggered by a television commercial, you know that advertising can be a powerful trigger for psychological hunger.
In fact, some research suggests that advertisements depicting people eating are more likely to trigger cravings than other methods of showcasing food in ads.
Sleep may have a powerful effect on your eating habits.
Some studies show that adults who don’t get enough sleep eat more calories, snack more, and are more likely to gain weight.
Certain highly processed items like potato chips, candy, and fast food are considered hyperpalatable.
This means that they’re designed to taste delicious and immediately reward your brain. For this reason, many people struggle to regulate their intake of these foods even when they’re not physically hungry.
Several factors may increase your susceptibility to psychological hunger, including stress, social pressure, advertising, poor sleep, hyperpalatable foods, and boredom.