How often do you feel true physiological hunger? If you are over your ideal weight you are eating sometimes when you are not physically hungry. That’s just the way it works. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around this one and couldn’t get those last 10 pounds off my body until I finally realized I AM OVEREATING. It was like a big “Aha!” moment for me.
A lot of my clients know they are overeating or even binge eating (eating way past the point of fullness and not being able to easily stop) but don’t know how to manage these behaviors. A lot of us don’t even realize that we are overeating. That was me. I thought I was hungry and it was a feeling I didn’t like. I used food to dull all of those feelings I thought were hunger. I came to find out they were emotional feelings NOT physical hunger feelings and I did not want to feel them.
Here’s what I figured out:
Physical hunger is just that, it’s physical…it’s a signal from your stomach that travels to your brain to tell you “time to eat.” I started tuning in and I figured out that when I was physically hungry I had a sensation in my stomach- it would growl and I would get a “light” feeling.
Emotional hunger and cravings come from a thought that your mind creates and manifests in the body. When I tuned in I discovered that when I was “emotionally” hungry or craving, I would feel “empty” or get a hunger-like sensation in my heart, throat, mouth or brain or I would get a sugar or carb craving. I also found that when I ate too much processed foods, sugars and baked goods, it would mess up my body’s hunger signals (more on foods that mess with your hunger signals and how they do it in next week’s blog.)
So, what are your hunger signals? Start to pay attention today. How do you feel before eating? Where is the sensation? Is your stomach rumbling or do you feel more of an emotional hunger in the heart or the mouth? Do you feel an emptiness or a vague sense of “wanting something”?
Was it physical hunger? Sit down to eat, pay attention during your meal, notice when that feeling of hunger goes away then STOP EATING. Remind yourself that you can always eat again later.
Was it emotional hunger? if so, STOP and try to figure out what you are FEELING. When you use food and alcohol to dull stressful or icky feelings, you also dull nice feelings too. And, if you push down your feelings with food, they will still be there for you…so eating and drinking to avoid them doesn’t really work anyway. Whatever thoughts and feelings you have, welcome them. Welcome them and sit with them.
These techniques will not only help you lose weight but will help you maintain your weight loss. AMAZING!
Next week I will discuss specific foods that interfere with your body’s ability to tell when it’s hungry or full. Stay tuned…
Do you want to learn more about managing hunger and cravings without feeling deprived?
I work with women just like you to help them define their health and weight loss goals and stay accountable so their dreams can come true! Sign up for a FREE 20-minute consultation to learn more about working with me. I have been 100% successful with my clients who follow my plan. So…are you ready to make your dreams come true?
About me: I am a functional and integrative Physician Assistant and Certified Nutrition Coach. And I am a working mom who had her mid-life weight loss journey. I finally figured it out and I want to share my strategies with other woman. I help women maintain weight loss with a nutrition plan and weight loss coaching them and helping them learn to eat in sync with their body’s innate patterns to bring them to their natural weight.