I want to eat but am not hungry?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “I want to eat but am not hungry?”. We will also talk about the cause that makes you want to eat.

I want to eat but am not hungry?

The feeling of constant need of eating and snacking even though you are not hungry or just had a meal is related to an eating disorder which can be habitual, psychological, or a medical condition.

Wanting to eat even when you are not hungry can be the cause for various reasons which we are going to talk more about in this blog.

Desire to taste

The urge to eat when not hungry is also because when you want to taste some food item and know the taste and flavor, you would not care if you are full and not hungry. The desire to taste will make you want to eat the food.

Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are the main culprits for inducing the urge of snacking and mindless eating as the brain releases a hormone called cortisol which induces appetite which makes you feel hungry even though you are not. 

This release of the hormone can make you want to eat even though you are not hungry. Stress eating is one of the key causes for wanting to eat even when not hungry.

Emotional eating

Some people tend to turn to food when they are emotionally affected. They try to find comfort and pleasure through food to forget about the emotional turmoil they are going through. Even if you had a big meal, you would still want to eat to support your emotions.

Snacking habit

Some people are so much in the habit of snacking they would want to snack on something even if they are not hungry. For example, if a person always snacks on potato chips while watching sports on the television, they would always want to snack on chips every time they watch sports on the television as they are habituated to doing so.

Devoid of a balanced diet

When you do not eat a balanced diet, your body and mind will not release certain hormones such as ghrelin that make you feel fuller and will initiate the urge to eat as the nutrients and minerals needed are not fulfilled.

Or if you are eating more of the insoluble carbs and fewer proteins and soluble fats and high fiber food, then the system will release a hormone Leptin that makes your brain think you are full but it is not enough for you as a small amount would make you full. This would make you want to eat even when you don’t feel hungry.

Some places trigger urges

Even though you have eaten a full meal but if you visit a restaurant or eatery where you always visit and snack on french fries, your body and mind will certainly be tempted to snack on the french fries as the palace triggers the urges to eat even if you are not hungry.

Peer pressure

Sometimes, you are out with friends but you had just had your lunch. They order some food and want you to join them to eat. You would want to eat even if you are not hungry due to peer pressure because you do not want to disappoint them or not want to be left alone.


A person can feel the urge to eat or snack on something even when he/she is not hungry due to boredom. When a person is bored, they do not have anything productive to do and their brain triggers the urge to eat as that would give satisfaction and a feeling of engagement when bored.

If boredom is causing you to want to eat even though you are not hungry, then keeping yourself busy with other activities when the urges start to occur is a remedy. Try solving puzzles or talking to a mate which will keep the mind busy and can’t stop the urges.

Medical reasons

It is not always psychological or habitual reasons, it can be a medical reason too. If you are taking certain types of medication, that can induce the urge to eat even if you are not hungry.

Some illnesses such as diabetes, and hypothyroidism can cause a person to eat all the time despite them not being hungry. 

How to cope with this eating disorder?

It is important to eat in a mindful state and know what and when to eat for better health. If you are experiencing eating all the time even though not hungry then you should maybe get a hobby that can occupy your mind such as solving puzzles, knitting, painting, etc. 

Meditation is also a great way of keeping your mind and body relaxed which can help in fighting those urges that make you want to eat all the time. Having a meal plan and a fixed meal time can also help the body and mind to reduce the urges for snacking.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “I want to eat but am not hungry?”. We also talked about the cause that makes you want to eat.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.




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