Your body can make you think you want food for various reasons even if you don’t physically need any. Next time you want something to eat ask yourself these six questions before heading to the kitchen…
Many unhelpful eating habits are automatic and impulsive, which means that you won’t necessarily feel satisfied after you’ve eaten what you’re craving for. Here are the fundamental questions to ask yourself to find out if you are actually hungry or whether the need for food is in your mind, rather than your body.
Am I bored?
Boredom is a major eating trigger for a lot of people. When you’re alone in the house it’s easy to convince yourself that you need to eat but actually, what are you eating for? Food should be to fuel your body, not to give you something to do. If you find yourself snacking out of boredom, make sure you plan things that will keep you busy, like taking up a new hobby or making plans with friends. Get yourself out of the rut you’re in and you’ll find that you’re less likely to eat out of boredom.
Am I tired?
Craving sugary foods is common when you’re exhausted, as your body is trying to increase your energy levels. Instead of giving in to these cravings, give your body what it really needs and try to get some rest. Try to get into the routine of going to bed earlier to make sure you get some well-earned rest, which should help reduce these cravings.
Am I stressed?
When you’re worried about something you can often find yourself with a tub of ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other before you’ve even had time to think about it. Stop and consider your current mood – are you using food to relieve stress? If so, step away from the fridge! (Sound familiar? Read our post on six signs signs you might be a stress eater).
Am I upset?
Many people eat to deal with emotional turmoil. This is particularly common in those who prefer to avoid confrontation – so rather than address the problem directly, they’ll eat to ease their feelings of anger or hurt. If you really can’t face the person or problem causing you feel this way, it might be a good idea to write down how you feel. This will give you more clarity over the situation and enable you come to a resolution and move on faster, rather than reaching for the fridge.
Do my cravings always occur at the same time?
If you’re a creature of habit, you might find that you want food at a particular time every day, e.g. before dinner, when you get home from work, in front of the television? It might be that you’re not actually hungry at this time, you’ve just trained yourself into thinking that you need a snack because it’s a repeated behaviour. One way to tackle this is to recognise your trigger situation and switch up your routine – so instead of sitting in front of the TV after work, go and do something else that will keep your hands busy, like starting a craft project, for example. LighterLife helps teach you about your eating habits and helps change your mindset to sustain your weight loss, click here to find out more.
Do I only crave unhealthy foods?
If only doughnuts will do, it means that your hunger probably isn’t physical but emotional. When you’re really physically hungry, you’re more likely to be open to a wider selection of foods. Emotional eating usually focuses on one type of food – and that’s usually the food you’ve told yourself is ‘bad’ for you.
Can you relate to these trigger situations? Find out how a positive attitude to food can help you and those around you.
Want to reshape your future by kicking your bad food habits? LighterLife can help you understand why you eat the way you do, give you new ways to make better choices now and in the future. Visit LighterLife.com/getting-started to find out how to get started today.