I am writing this blog on a cloudy and cool Saturday. I do not have a single activity planned for today, so obviously it is a good day to get ahead with writing my blogs and doing work in my business, but I am not in the mood.
My head tells me that I have a busy week ahead, and that having a full day free is great to get things done. Often in business, it is not good to wait for the mood to strike you, because it might not, and then you are behind.
But as I am not in the mood, it is boring, and it is too miserable outside to go for a walk along the beach, so what should I do?
I think I will eat.
I need something nice to eat. Maybe I will go to the shops and get some cakes. Maybe I will have bread with some butter and jam on it.
No, stop thinking like that. I am eating healthy!!
There is some good salad I made yesterday, that is nice. Now I might have some nuts, and some fruit. Maybe I need some rice crackers and avocado and so my day has gone.
Am I really hungry?
No. I had chicken and vegetable soup and some toast for lunch, that is usually enough to fill me. The rest of the hunger is emotional.
I am using food to alleviate boredom. I am using food to entertain me. I am using food to make me feel better. I am using food to procrastinate.
But it feels like hunger. My stomach feels like it is empty. My mouth certainly wants to have something in it, and my energy levels feel low, but is any of this actual hunger?
If I stop and think do I want something to eat, then the answer is yes. I feel hungry.
But the next question – what am I really hungry for?
Some bright blue sky so that I can enjoy my favorite activity which is walking along the beach.
Some friends to phone me up and plan an outing.
For me, even a deadline would be entertaining as I love the pressure of a deadline.
Instead, all I have is my adult self, telling me that getting ahead of the week’s work is a good idea. As we talked about in weight loss blocker 7, we often rebel against the adult voice telling us the sensible thing to do.
So, I eat.
Am I full yet?
The second part of this block around hunger is knowing when we have had enough to eat.
The recommendation is to eat until we are 80% full.
But how do you know when you have reached that mark?
The only way is to eat slowly, to stop and put the utensils down, and to chew every mouthful. This then allows our senses and our hormones to process the feelings and become aware as we are getting full, and send the message back to our brain, but this is not what most of us do.
This is the danger when we are extra hungry, and we eat fast to satisfy that need.
And this is especially true if the food is yummy and full of fats and sugars that encourage us to keep eating. We can consume a lot of food quite quickly and pass the 80% mark before we know it. In fact, we can go pass the 100% full and still not be aware until a bit later and then we wonder why our stomach hurts.
Eating regularly, eating slowly, being aware of our feelings of satiety, and being aware of other feelings like boredom is the only way to know if it is true hunger that is driving us to eat, or if it is something else.
As I work with the emotional reasons we do things, I would encourage you to look at when you eat, how much you eat, and who chooses what you eat – your adult or your child? We only need three meals a day at the most. If you are hungry out of mealtimes, it would suggest to me that it is emotional not physical hunger that is driving you or you are not eating enough protein, fats, and calories at your mealtimes.
Write a food diary for a week with everything you eat and drink and what you are feeling at the time. Is there a pattern? Do you always want something sweet after dinner? Do you crave something at 3 PM? You eat well when you are by yourself, but when you are around others you eat more. Finding these patterns can help you see when emotions are driving you to eat, and when it is hunger.
If you would like further help or guidance with them book a free chat with me, or book my four-week craving crusher. https://kaybayly.as.me/cravingcrusher