Am I Really Hungry?

Our last post touched on the topic of emotional eating. We hope that this information was useful to you and want to expand further on the topic. Here in Brevard County, we often see patients who struggle with emotional eating, much like many in this country. Many times, people turn to food, whether they are aware of it or not, to handle the stresses of life. The chosen foods are often high calorie, high fat, sugary foods that lead to weight gain among other chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes. Emotional eating does not really satisfy the emotional need causing the consumption and can result in long-term weight gain and have detrimental effects to your health and well-being. It can be challenging to discern between emotional and physical hunger but knowing the difference can be beneficial when you are struggling to find a balance with your dietary needs. Here are some tips on distinguishing between the two.

Physical hunger comes on slowly provided you are feeding yourself in a healthy way. This is crucial. Emotional hunger seems to come from nowhere and feels like a ravishing beast that needs to be satiated immediately. When you are physically hungry, the hunger tends to build over time. If a sudden craving comes on and you are not experiencing physical hunger, this could be a sign that you need to deal with an emotional trigger in your life.

Emotional hunger seems endless. After you have consumed the cookies, ice cream, chips, etc., something inside of you still craves more. No matter what you consume, it feels like additional food is needed to fill the void. This is a classic symptom of emotional eating. Often times, emotional eating is associated with certain foods. This can also be something to pay attention to. If your “hunger” is only for specific tastes and textures, it could be emotional in nature.

The location of your hunger is another way to figure out if you are truly hungry. The classic sign of physical hunger is a growling stomach. Physical hunger gives you physical cues to alert you that it is time to feed yourself. Emotional hunger, on the other hand, tends to come from your head. What we mean by this is that you get a craving for something and you cannot get the thought of that particular food out of your mind. This is a clear sign of emotional hunger.

Guilt and shame after you have eaten is also a sign that you have just experienced emotional eating. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, generally there is no associated guilt because you have given your body what it needs.

Emotional eating is something that you can take control of but it takes really learning your body and your particular needs. If you are are not aware of why you are eating, chances are you are letting your emotions control your appetite. There are often specific triggers associated with emotional eating and learning what yours are will help you stop your mindless eating. You can gain control and use food in a healthy way. Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute in Melbourne, FL is here to help you claim your life back. We can give you and the people of Brevard County the tools to experience lasting weight loss and break the chains that have held you down for so long.