What is the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger?
Emotional hunger means you turn to food either to avoid uncomfortable emotions or to heighten pleasurable ones. It means you eat based on how you feel instead of what your body needs.
Examples of emotional hunger (FEELINGS):
● Eating for comfort or out of loneliness or sadness
● Eating from boredom
● Eating to try to soothe anxious or depressed feelings
● Eating to fill an aching heart
Whereas physical hunger means you eat when your body signals to you that you are in fact, hungry. And it means that you stop eating when you are satisfied and before you are uncomfortably full.
Examples of physical hunger (SENSATIONS):
● Stomach growls and gets that hollow hungry sensation
● Body feels weak and energy goes down
● Blood sugar gets low and you feel shaky
● You feel lightheaded or faint
So what will learning to listen to my body do for me? It will free you from being a slave to food!
What that means for you is that you’ll feel more in control of your eating and less dependent on food to “help” your moods and emotions.
By listening to your physical hunger signals, you can determine how hungry or full you really are. With practice, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your body is at any given moment.
By doing so, you will train yourself to stop eating BEFORE you are too full and to not turn to food when you are not actually hungry but are in fact bored, upset, anxious or depressed.
Because everyone knows that’s a vicious cycle… so let me show you how to end that cycle and have some fun while doing it! Enter… the Hunger Game!
How do I play the Hunger Game?
Let me first clarify that I’m not talking about undergoing top-secret weapons training to learn to “kill” off your colleagues or friends… I’m talking about a simple, helpful game that you can play all by yourself even in a busy restaurant!
Here’s how you play the Hunger Game:
● See if you can be the slowest eater at the table — no one has to know you’re playing or that you’re trying to win the Hunger Game
● Periodically check in with yourself throughout your meal and honor when you’re energized and satiated by completing the meal ● Use an end-of-meal ritual, like putting your napkin over your plate or ordering hot tea and fresh fruit to symbolize completion of the meal
So what do you do now? In our health coaching practice, we help clients learn to tell the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Together, we come up with a plan to help you keep identifying the difference so you can lose weight naturally and double your energy.
If you think you may be engaging in emotional eating and you don’t know how to change it, we would love to help!