Food can be fun. In our society, we frequently gather around food and use it as a celebration or reward. We also use food to feel better…. emotional eating. How many times have you reached for food when you were feeling stressed or sad?
Unfortunately, we use food too much, and it’s adding fuel to an already burning obesity epidemic. If you want to make changes to your body, it’s crucial to know whether you’re truly hungry or simply tempted or looking for something to accompany your emotional state. The goal is to become mindful of why you’re eating and what you’re consuming. With this increased mindfulness, you can create lifelong physical transformation.
So how do you become more mindful?
It starts with knowing how to identify the signs of physical hunger vs. emotional hunger:
Here are the typical signs of physical hunger:
- Can be reduced by any food available
- Easy to satisfy or reduce
- Felt in the stomach
- Might feel weak/lightheaded or hear your stomach growling
Here are the typical signs of emotional eating:
- Comes on abruptly and can change suddenly
- Could be classified as a temptation or craving
- You want a specific type of food
- Harder to stop or satisfy
- Can be linked to times of emotional stress
As you learn how to identify the type of hunger you’re experiencing, you can determine whether you’re actually hungry and need to eat some food or do something else instead. If you’ve realized that you’re experiencing emotional hunger, find an alternative activity that’s healthy for you and express the feelings associated with the emotional hunger.
You’ll also become a more mindful eater by avoiding situations that can lead to overeating, such as snacking in front of the television. Others have found success by eating with their non-dominant hand, slowing down and describing the flavors and textures of their food.
Written By: Blaire Rummel