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  • Writer's pictureHanni Berger CEO JOYVIAL

Why do I want to eat all the time?


Cravings

If you feel hungry often, you are not alone.

There are many reasons that make us feel hungry. Of course, the most obvious one is that you are actually physically hungry. Perhaps your stomach is empty, your blood sugar has dropped, and your hunger hormones are having a party.

But other times, the hunger may not be physical hunger. It may be a craving or an emotional trigger. These are common reasons why some people eat too much. It could be brought on by a certain type of diet, stress, or other things going on in life.

It’s easy to mistake “psychological” hunger for “physical” hunger. So, let’s talk about the difference between both of these and I’ll share some tips on how to figure out which is which.

Physical hunger vs. psychological hunger

Your "physical" hunger is regulated by the body through your hunger hormones. And of course, it should be. You don't want to be completely drained of fuel and nutrients for a long time. So, you are programmed to seek food when your body physically needs it. Some of those physical needs are that your stomach is empty or your blood sugar has dropped.

There are other reasons that can trick your body into physical hunger. For example, the chemical BPA found in many plastic products can mess with your hunger cues. But we’ll keep that for another article down the road.

"Psychological" or "emotional" hunger is eating to overcome boredom, sadness, stress, etc. It's based on a thought or feeling. It's what happens when you see a great food commercial or smell a bakery. It's not from your empty stomach.

So, here’s how to tell which is which.

Eight steps to figure out if you are physically hungry or not

1 - The first thing you want to do is pause to evaluate. Shoving down that protein bar at the first sign of hunger isn’t going to lead to a healthy, lean body.

2 - Now pay attention to where this hunger is coming from. Can you actually feel or hear your stomach growling? Did you skip a meal, and haven’t eaten in hours? Or are you seeing and smelling something divinely delicious? Perhaps you are bored, sad, or stressed? Take a peek into all these areas and really pay attention.

3 - Have a big glass of water. Then wait a few minutes. In the meantime dig into the source of the feeling. It can be easy to jump to a conclusion, but that may or may not be the right one. So listen to your body and mind very deeply to see what may be triggering your cravings.

4 - If you do find that your feelings may be the source, then face them. Acknowledge and observe them. You may just need comfort and recognition instead of food. Try deep breathing, getting a hug from someone you care, stretching, or going for a quick walk to release some of these emotions. This also gives your mind a chance to focus on something other than the feeling of hunger.

5 - If you are pretty sure that your body physically needs nutrition, but you know that you just ate a few hours ago, give it a bit longer. It’s amazing how hunger can subside again if you don’t focus on it for 10-15 minutes. You may also want to assess the nutritional value of your breakfast to make sure it's a meal that gives you strength and clarity.

6 - Now you can be fairly sure whether your hunger was from emotions, boredom, thirst, or actual physical hunger.

7 - If it's physical hunger, it's time to eat a nutritious meal. To fill you up, your meal should be high in protein, fiber, and water. Eat slowly and mindfully. Chew well and savor every bite of it.

8 - Rinse and repeat at the next sign of hunger.

Would it be helpful for us to support you when you create a vision of your healthiest, most JOYful life? We’d love to guide you every step of the way in this process and along your journey to reaching that vision. Click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to info@joyvial.com to schedule your free discovery session.


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