Fear creates an insatiable need for food

Increased appetite and cravings

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Listen to the body.

Stress and a hectic pace are often the reason why meals are eaten under time pressure or only in passing. The consequence: Feelings of satiety are not noticed and people eat until there is nothing left. In addition, the stomach is full, but the desire for a taste experience remains. It is better to eat consciously and thus also to satisfy the "sensual" needs.

Eat slowly.

It takes up to 20 minutes for you to feel full. So if you gobble up your food quickly, you may be missing the right moment to stop. Because even those who have cravings usually don't need huge portions to satisfy their appetite.

Orientate yourself to reference values.

Once the feeling for the right portion size has been lost, simple guidelines help to get back to normal amounts of food. For example, the right amount of spaghetti per person - uncooked and in a bundle - is as large as a two-euro piece in diameter.

Eat lots of fiber.

Whether bought in take away or prepared at home: Ready-made food usually has a high nutrient density, so that even small portions cover the energy requirement, but do not convey the feeling of a "full stomach". Just the opposite is the case with foods that are high in fiber. Large quantities of salads, whole grain products and vegetables can be eaten without consuming too many calories.

Serve all flavors.

In Ayurveda, the following applies: Every meal should contain as many flavors as possible. After hearty, i.e. salty or even spicy dishes, you often feel an increased appetite for a sweet finish. Instead of failing a small dessert and then going for a large piece of chocolate afterwards, it is better to diversify your meals.

To distract oneself.

Boredom and negative feelings are common causes of food cravings. The food then takes on the function of a substitute pacification. If you see such a pattern in yourself, take up activities that you will do instead in the critical situation. Going for a walk, meeting up with friends [good because of social control], or activities such as gardening are good options. Using the remote control is less suitable - especially when watching television, a snack is a matter of course for many.

If you feel the need to vomit up too much after a food cravings attack - or if you can no longer keep your food cravings under control, seek medical and psychotherapeutic advice in good time! Because on your own it is almost impossible to get out of this situation again.

Avoid reinfections.

If the increased appetite is caused by a worm infection, you should not only have the doctor prescribe the right medication for you, but also avoid re-infection. It is important not to abduct possible eggs or larvae under any circumstances. This means that clothes and bed linen are washed thoroughly. You should also wash your hands particularly thoroughly after using the toilet. Also remember to have any family members who may be infected and to dewormer pets regularly (against tapeworms!).


Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Editing: Sara Steer | last changed on at 11:23