Let’s face it, that hole in your soul can’t be filled with food, and it’s time to stop feeding your emotions with processed junk. While food feels good going in and might bring a sense of temporary satisfaction, lasting fulfillment never comes from a full stomach.
Emotional “hunger” often conceals itself as true or physiological hunger, and you might occasionally have a hard time telling the difference. So before you take your next bite ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
- Is my need for this food a craving? Generally food cravings are a sign of emotional hunger. If you’re craving kale it’s completely possible that you are experiencing true hunger, but if it’s a candy bar, chips or a cookie you’re after, it’s likely that you are eating to satisfy an emotion with a burst of “pleasure.” When you’re truly hungry, almost any food will suffice.
- Is there a rumbling? When you have a healthy relationship with food, your body will signal to you a need for more nutrients with physical sensations (like a rumbling in the stomach). However, for many emotional eaters, the physical sensations of hunger are overridden by food desires. When you’re eating to satisfy emotions, you’ll feel like eating it, rather than your body is telling you, you need it.
- When did I last eat? True hunger generally presents itself at regular intervals. If you’ve recently eaten, chances are good you don’t need that food in front of you. When you’re eating emotionally, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are full. True hunger can be satisfied with a healthy meal. Emotionally hunger is never satisfied.
If you find that you are emotionally eating, it’s time to come up with an alternative strategy. While it might feel good in the moment, the long term effects are pretty bad. Emotional eating generally leads to weight gain, depression, anxiety and guilt. If you find yourself tending to eat for emotional reasons, start focusing your energy away from food and towards healthy habits like regular exercise, scheduled periods of relaxation and positive relationships.
I would love to help you learn how to adopt a lifestyle of purposeful eating and create a healthy relationship with food. My Foundation and Core Programs are designed to give you the tools you need to make a lifelong lifestyle change. Change Your Meals, Change Your Life!