Eating to fill the void inside is hungry.

How do you know if you’re hungry or just eating comfort food?

Wanting specific foods. It might be hard to understand the difference between a food addiction and a normal one. You can use some of the signs to know when you’re eating from stress and not from hunger. You can learn how to tell the difference if you suspect you are eating to fill a void.

Without thinking, eating. This stems from emotional hunger if you have a strong desire for specific food. The desire for what to eat is not defined when your body is in need of food. If you find that you want one particular food or texture, then you want the taste, not the nutrition.

It is sudden to want to eat. If you start to eat something and don’t think about how much you’re consuming, that’s a sign that you’re emotionally eating. The need for comfort and not the need for food is what drives the habit of consuming an entire bag of chips.

It leads to shame. If you suddenly become hungry, it’s one of the biggest indicators of your hunger being driven by a void inside instead of a need for sustenance. Someone who is addicted to cigarettes will need to smoke immediately after a stress event. You are trying to avoid the feelings that have triggered. Slowly and over time, hunger comes on. It is also regular and emotional hunger comes with circumstances.

It isn’t going to satisfy. You will feel guilty for eating if you have food addiction. It is tied to shame and lowered self-esteem. It is hard to climb out of a spiral of addictions that involve these feelings. Eating can help you escape terrible emotions and thoughts.

You feel it differently than usual. Emotional eating can alleviate unpleasant experiences for a short time, but it lacks real satisfaction. You will only end up feeling the same. It won’t stop the emotions from coming up again and again because it’s not helping to heal the internal void.

You will feel hunger in your stomach. Emotions drive emotional hunger. It will show itself to be a craving for certain foods that you can’t get rid of. You will want something that tastes and feels good instead of something that tastes and feels bad.