The Hunger Gauge – When we were younger we were pretty in tune with our physical hunger, we knew when we needed food and when we didn’t. However as we grow up the lines seem to blur, we start to conform to what other people want of us, they tell us how much we should eat, when to eat and how often we should eat and we lose touch with our physical hunger leaving us with no real sense of when we’re physically full.
There are two types of hunger; physical and emotional. When these get confused it can lead us to overeating. If we believe we’re hungry for food when in actual fact we are hungry for something else – it could be affection, relaxation or some excitement in our life – with no sense of physical hunger we can end up eating food that we don’t really need and piling on the pounds through this. Imagine in your mind, your hunger gauge and give yourself a rating.
How can we tell if we’re really hungry?
When you have an urge to eat, check if it’s the emotional or physical hunger by asking yourself these simple questions:
- Is there a hollow sensation in my stomach? Is it rumbling?
- Am I thirsty?
- Have I eaten anything in the last 3 hours?
- Have I noticed a sudden change in my mood?
If you answer Yes to questions 3 & 4 it most likely emotional hunger
If you find it is just an emotional hunger, sometimes simply distracting yourself can be enough to stop the temptations, go for a walk, have a glass of water or talk to a friend. Think about all the times you have filled your time by eating because you were bored.
If you find you are physically hungry think carefully about what you plan to eat, ask yourself if you will be pleased and satisfied with your food choice in two hours time
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