Hunger is often a symptom of stress, and thinking about food begins the escape from stress. But when we really want to get away from something we are feeling, we often turn to eating food, because it provides the comfort our body is craving. Turning to good healthy nutritious food for comfort is actually brilliant, because good, whole foods, found in nature, connect us to the earth and ground us. The process of cooking these foods nurtures us, in addition to the nurturing we receive from actually eating them.
Most of us however, do not turn to broccoli or beautiful green salads when we are stressed, instead we turn to processed, sugary foods. These foods provide us with the ability to have a quick fix, and we usually enjoy the hand-to-mouth, repetitive action cycle. But no matter how long we keep this up, sadly, this act does not actually comfort us. Even worse, it stresses us out more because we feel guilt, and disappointment with ourselves, in addition to feeling to side effects of elevated blood sugar levels.
Next time you are obsessing about eating junk food, but not really hungry for it, try the following:
1) Pour yourself a tall glass of water and see if the craving goes away. If it does great, but if you are still looking for something to fill that possible hunger, think about eating a piece of whole fruit or vegetable, an apple for example, or some raw nuts or seeds. If you are experiencing true hunger, the idea of consuming these foods will be appealing to you. If you can't stop fantasizing about Doritos, something else might be going on.
2) What is the emotion you are feeling? Sometimes when we can put a label on it, it helps us to understand what we are experiencing, and the urgency to get away from that feeling subsides. A craving for the Doritos is urgent, but true hunger does not have that same immediate, drastic sense of urgency.
3) Go Outside! Really, sometimes just removing yourself from your current environment will eliminate the stress and the need to snack senselessly.
4) Squash your inner voice critic. Don't let it speak badly about you. When we feel discomfort, we often want to point blame, and sometimes the easiest place to point is at our selves. Do what you can in that moment to build yourself up not down. Think, I am good enough!
5) Are you mindfully making a decision to eat the chips or the cookies, then just freaking do it! Do it, enjoy it and then let it go and move on and don't berate yourself.
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FEELING CONFUSED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND NUTRITION NEEDS???