Are you finding yourself looking in the fridge again?
With many us working from home right now maybe questioning why we are at the fridge again?! We all know it’s taking time to adjust and manage family life with work life and this can play all sorts of havoc on our mind and bodies, some of us maybe having the opposite effect and just not eating at all as you feel stressed and have no balance between home life and working hours. But most of us are probably out of sync with meal time and eating just when we fell we need too.
So is there a difference between physical and emotional eating?
You know you’re emotionally eat when:
- You eat when triggered by emotions rather than actual true (physical) hunger.
- You continue eating despite feeling full.
- You eat as part of a routine that is automated and habitual but doesn’t require your attention. In other words, you eat “on autopilot” mindlessly.
- You often multitask while eating instead of paying attention and enjoying the experience. This might mean watching TV, cooking, emailing, reading, driving or anything else that takes away your attention.
- You frequently graze on food and snack but skip actual meals that require you to sit down and take your time.
- You ultimately ignore your body’s real hunger signals and physical cues.
- You might skip certain meals altogether (like breakfast or lunch while at work) because you “forgot to eat,” don’t have time or are in a rush.
- You ignore portion sizes and your appetite, instead eating everything on your plate just because it’s there.
- You feel like you’re almost eating as if in a trance, and once you’re finished, you feel like the meal never even happened.
- You ultimately believe that you have little or no control over food and your own body.
- You stress about food choices, label foods “good or bad,” criticize yourself, and rely on fad diets or other people to determine what and how much you eat.
This one question alone can really help put the brakes on emotional eating: “Am I really hungry?” Another way to word it could be, “What am I really hungry for?”
These might seem like easy questions to answer, but we all know that at times it’s hard to tell! Many things can seem like true hunger, including thirst, boredom, stress, low energy and cravings. Ask yourself this question before digging in and you might be surprised to see the results.
How do we know when we do, in fact, need to eat?
Here are some ways that physical hunger and emotional hunger differ. Remember that real hunger grows gradually, while emotional hunger tends to come on all of a sudden.
Signs you’re experiencing physical hunger include:
- Your stomach growling
- Low energy
- A decent amount of time has passed since your last meal
- It’s roughly the time of day you usually feel hungry (especially true if you typically eat at regular intervals).
- You’re open to different foods instead of fixated on one specific thing. Think about doing “the broccoli test”; ask yourself if eating broccoli or tuna steak sounds appetizing. If it doesn’t, chances are you’re not really hungry and are having a craving instead.
I hope this read can help you decide what type of hunger you are experiencing at home and if that big metal thing in your kitchen is really calling your name!!
If you are stuck for snack ideas as there is NO HARM in snacking on healthy options here’s a few options for you to try.