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Keep eating when not actually hungry? Have a read of this!

If you’re like me, you like to eat – you like to eat when you’re hungry, you like to eat when you aren’t hungry. I don’t know many people who truly enjoy the feeling of hunger if they have good relationship with their body and a good relationship with food. Many of us continue to eat though, even when not hungry and this can go some way to sabotaging our health, fitness and aesthetic (body composition) goals. Is that you?


Hunger is a super complicated sensation in the body – sometimes we experience true hunger or sometimes our bodies tell our minds that we are hungry when in fact, we aren’t hungry at all.


Our bodies and minds do crazy things to us and I think most of us know that by now – a lot of what goes on in our bodies and minds are automatic responses and feelings based on historical perceptions of our safety and survival from back when we were cave people! At the time, that was super helpful, not so much now when we live in an environment where food and drink are plentiful.


So, why am I telling you all of this? It can be really helpful to understand our bodies’ workings so that we can then learn how to best deal with all of them – there are MANY!


So the first thing to know based on what we have already chatted about is to notice that none of these responses are your fault! You are not ‘out of control’ because you eat when you aren’t hungry, you aren’t ‘lacking in will power’ – you are human.


What we need to work on, which is a skill, is knowing when we are genuinely hungry and when our body is telling us we are when we probably actually aren’t.


Let’s go through some questions you can ask yourself then when feeling a little peckish:

-       What is my body feeling physically? Physical hunger?

-       Could I be thirsty? Sometimes the body presents thirst as hunger, if you haven’t had a big glass of water in a while and wonder why you’re feeling hungry already, have a big old drink and wait for 15 minutes, you could just be thirsty.

-       Are you bored? Tired? Sad? These are all mechanisms and feelings within our bodies that can alter our hormones and cause hunger to strike!


If you are feeling an emotion that could cause hunger to strike, obviously, the most optimal thing we can probably do is to deal with that emotion at its root cause but this often takes longer than the window that we have before we start to overeat based on that feeling and something we can perhaps talk about how to manage in a different blog (if this is something you would be interested in chatting about just pop me a message and we’ll get it sorted!). So, in the immediate future let’s think about how we could satisfy our feelings of loneliness, boredom, sadness, depression, anxiety in a way that isn’t eating or drinking. Could it be a call with a friend? A walk? A good book? Knitting?


Something else we could perceive feelings of hunger from is subconsciously restricting ourselves with our nutrition or whatever diet we find ourselves in the midst of now. You guys know by now that I am all about incorporating a bit of what we fancy each and every day in a way that keeps our minds and bodies healthy. Subconscious feelings of restriction can tell our minds that we are feeling physical hunger when we perhaps actually aren’t which is a reason why restrictive feelings diets that cut out all of the things that we love, often don’t work.


The biggest thing to take from all of this is to first decipher where your feelings of hunger come from. Just notice at the moment, why you continued to eat when not hungry, know that it is normal and then let’s have a think about how we might be able to combat that. When we know, we can break that down and come up with some options to try to stop that from happening in future. That is the part where I come in and can help – just pop me a message if this is something you would like some support with and I’ll be right there working through, with you, not feeling like we have to eat when we aren’t necessarily hungry for it.


Peace and love, A x

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