Hunger vs Thirst: How To Tell Whether You Need Food Or Water


Hunger vs Thirst: How to tell whether you need food or water

We’ve all been there; forgetting the last time we had a glass of water yet we remember to eat several snacks/meals throughout the day because food is lyf, duh. When we’re not hydrated enough, our bodies get mixed signals (just like when that boy you like doesn’t text you back). If you’re feeling hungry, it might be because your body is dehydrated and some of the symptoms of dehydration mimic those of hunger... so much confusion, right?

It’s important to know and recognise the difference between hunger and thirst so our bodies feel happy and healthy.

How to tell if you’re hungry

On a level of 0-hangry, how hungry are you? We should be eating every 3-4 hours, so if you’re eating more regularly than this, it may mean you’re not actually hungry. Usually when we feel the need to eat, any food will satisfy our hunger – it’s important also not to get hunger confused with cravings, which is something we tend to do when we’re bored.

How to tell if you’re thirsty

If you’re already thirsty, you’re already dehydrated so it’s best to keep those hydration levels up throughout the day to avoid this. If you feel like you’ve been constantly eating and still feel hungry, this could also be a sign that you are thirsty. Remember that caffeine can dehydrate you too so stay away from having cups and cups of coffees and teas!

Symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat/breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Not peeing/urine is dark yellow
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache

Here are some ways on how to avoid eating those extra calories: 

  • Fill out a food diary each day
  • Drink water regularly – download an app to remind you to drink water or grab a healthish bottle and use the time indicators!
  • Limit your snacks, stay away from the unhealthy, tempting foods
  • Every time you feel like you need to eat, have a glass of water, wait 15 minutes and if you’re still hungry have a healthy little snack like fruit or veggies
  • Write a list of things to do that don’t involve eating
  • Keep yourself busy, don’t eat just because you’re bored