Am I Really Hungry?

Intuitive eating
Healthy eating
Mental health
Eating Disorders
plate hunger

It's not easy to lose weight or even maintain a healthy weight in a society where food is not just there to help us meet our nutritional needs. We eat by habit, we eat because we're stressed out, we eat because we’re tired, we eat by politeness, we eat because there’s a party, we eat by boredom ... We must be careful because sometimes the environment and our psychological state of the moment can send us false signals of hunger that could push us to eat more than our needs and that makes it difficult to maintain our weight or lose our few extra pounds.

Emotional hunger; it occurs when you are stressed out, sad or bored. This false hunger is seen very often in nutritionist offices. This kind of hunger sends signals which, unlike true hunger, disappear after a while. In order to recognize it, it is necessary to know how to manage the emotion that one lies behind this hunger.

Examples of times when hunger could be more emotional than physical:

1) I'm stressed when I come back from work so I nibble, it calms me down.

2) I did not pass my exam. I like to eat biscuits to relax.

3) It's a rainy day. I have nothing to do but eat snacks while watching TV.

Next time you are hungry; ask yourself one thing: "Am I really hungry?" If you think it could be an emotional hunger; try to manage your emotions.

Think of 3 activities that you like and that relax you in order to manage this negative emotion.

3 favorite activities of mine:

1- Go for a run

2- Take a nice hot bath with foam

3- Paint with watercolours

Find your own! Here are some ideas: read a book, call a friend, climb, go for a swim, do yoga / relaxation, indoor training, etc.)

Some people are more influenced by emotions than others in their food intake. One can also deal with false emotional hunger in a positive context, for example at a Christmas party with friends. Environmental and rational hunger are other types of false hungers to consider that are often seen in consultation.

It is not always easy to recognize one's true hunger in a society where food is everywhere around us. Whether it is to make better choices or to be more attentive to your true hunger; dietary changes are difficult to make. TeamNutrition nutritionists are there to support you in your weight loss or maintenance goals.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist