Why do I eat when I'm not hungry?
Let’s get tactical, tactical, I wanna get tactical, let’s get into tactical…
Today, as you might have guessed, I want to get tactical. I want to talk about why we eat when we’re not even hungry.
First off, a note on why you don’t always get “tactical” posts from me.
I HATE articles that say, “Eat these 10 amazing foods!” Or, “Do these 5 magical exercises!” Why? Because 2/3 of America is not overweight because we don’t know what to do.
A lack of knowledge is not the real problem.
(If anything there is TOO MUCH info out there – which causes people to feel confused = do nothing.)
It’s not about a lack of knowledge. It’s about a lack of consistent action.
When someone says, “Just eat less and move more!” it makes my blood boil. Sure, “Just eat less and move more” sounds good but that doesn’t address the psychology of weight loss and getting in shape, at all.
Tactics without the right mindset is like getting bariatric surgery without understanding WHY we’re overeating in the first place. If we don’t understand the root cause, we’re just delaying the inevitable —-> gaining the weight back.
Without a foundation, people’s efforts are a waste of time. This isn’t even taking into account all of the unsustainable diets people follow (the could I see myself doing this in 5 years type of diet. If yes = good! If no “Um, I can’t see myself drinking shakes 5x a day in 5 years from now” – that = bad.).
I can write a whole book on this so I’ll get into the tactics now.
But I encourage you to check out this post I wrote a while back, “Why I’ll probably never write a bestselling health and fitness book“.
Many of you tell me that you always feel hungry. I hear ya!
First off, let’s ask ourselves this question while we’re thinking rationally: Is it possible to be hungry all the time?
Rationally, we know that it’s not possible to be hungry all the time. So what gives?
Well, most of the time it’s EMOTIONAL hunger not physical.
Physical hunger comes on gradually. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. Real hunger can be satisfied with any food. Yes, that’s right – if an apple doesn’t satisfy our hunger, we’re not physically hungry.
Tip: Many times we just finish the food in front of us simply because it’s, well, in front of us. Try asking yourself this question mid-meal, “Would I eat an apple right now?” If the answer is no, you’re not physically hungry anymore.
Tip: That’s why the easiest way to eat less is to serve ourselves less. We can’t eat what’s not there. I’d rather avoid the dragon than have to slay it!
And if we serve ourselves less, we don’t have to bother asking ourselves questions mid-meal! 🙂
Emotional hunger comes with a craving for a specific food. And unfortunately, it’s usually not for apples.
When we get ‘hungry’ it’s worth asking ourselves a few questions:
1. How long has it been since I’ve eaten?
2. What was the last thing I ate?
3. Was it something nutritious?
If you suspect your hunger might be emotional, ask yourself what you might be really hungry for?
Perhaps, it’s affection, assistance, rest, excitement, peace of mind, tension relief…
Is it possible to have the need met by someone? How about by yourself?
Here’s the challenge: Many times we feel like our needs can’t or won’t get met so food becomes our escape.
When we’re ‘hungry’ that is one need we feel like we CAN control.
ABOUT TO EMOTIONALLY EAT?
As you know, I’m a big fan of asking ourselves questions. Questions help to change our perspective. And that’s what it’s all about.
If you’re about to emotionally eat, ask yourself:
1. What’s really bothering me? Or what am I really hungry for?
2. What can I do about it?
3. Why don’t I do anything about it? —-> This is the kicker. Because while it might be “easier” in the short run to choose to be powerLESS rather than be powerFUL in the moment, it’s like the annoying door to door salesmen…if we don’t answer the door, they’ll keep knocking.
Why not answer it sooner rather than later?
Untill we answer the door we’ll just keep suppressing emotions.
Can’t be powerFUL, no matter what? Maybe it’s something beyond our control.
Sometimes, it can be very helpful to explore what it feels like to have the need go unmet by simply writing about it, and many clients have reported that this eases the discomfort tremendously, and of course, like all discomfort (and pleasure) it subsides.
Read this if you’ve ever asked, “Why you didn’t I lose weight like I was supposed to?”
This is also how to find out what you might really want out of your life because typically we’d shovel food into our mouth so we don’t have to experience or face the feelings.
When we’re not suppressing those feelings, they’ll come to the surface, and we’ll be able to see what it is we really want.
Food is ONLY love when it is used to feed our true physical hunger and we actually enjoy and relish and savor the experience. Otherwise, we’re using food to cover up feelings.
Feelings that might be preventing us from becoming the person we really want to be.
P.S. Do you emotionally, mindlessly and habitually eat? Message me. I read every single email I get.
Starting a diet is easy. Sticking with it is very hard.
When was the last time you stuck with a diet?
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