Do you eat when you are stressed? Lonely? Pi**** off? I’ve been there.
Personally, I’ve often been a boredom eater or ate when I was tired. I can vividly remember being scolded for standing in front of the fridge, staring, with the door wide open for ages! Was I hungry? – no. If I had been the decision would have been quick and easy. I was most definitely bored, and staring at the contents of the fridge looking for something to eat that would be moderately entertaining was the end goal.
I do a lot of work with people who, like me, experience some level of emotional eating in their lives. I want to share with you two extremely powerful questions that we often neglect to ask ourselves when these occurrences happen. I think it’s tremendously incredible how we’ve forgotten to ask these two simple yet life changing questions that I believe are intrinsically entwined within us as part of being human. They are:
1. Am I hungry? 2. Body – what do you want?
When was the last time you had a craving for something and actually asked yourself “Am I hungry”? It seems so simple and yet, we often take this powerful question for granted. The next time you are thinking about food for any reason I want you to stop, look within and ask just that – Am I hungry?
Whether or not the answer is yes, I want you to then to proceed to ask that innate source of knowledge (our own body) question number two: Body, what do you want? Seriously, ask it – what do you REALLY want? If the answer to your question about hunger, for example, is YES. Well then, what food would serve you? What would your body enjoy as fuel and as a recipient of the good health it deserves? Or maybe your body really wants something sweet, maybe you have been eating only savoury, and it needs some balance. Just ask it – and be ready to listen, it will let you know.
If, following your hunger question the answer is NO. Again, I want you to ask yourself– Body, what do you want? If it’s not hungry for food, what is it hungry for?
Entertainment? Company? Calm? A pick-me-up? Or maybe it just needs a distraction? Can you come up with an alternative? Consider giving your body exactly what it wants rather than distracting it with food. I know it’s easier sometimes to just do the food thing – but trust me, the empowerment you can feel from giving your body what it really wants is something you can carry with you for a lifetime.
Practice these questions and coming up with alternatives, your body will thank you.
And remember, if you're not hungry and you decide you still want to eat - that's fine too! Sometimes, that's exactly what our body wants and needs - hungry or not!