You just got off the phone with your sister who, once again, dropped the ball when it came to doing her part in caring for Mom. So typical and frustrating and unfair! Ugh!!
Why does a muffin sound so good right now?
In this 3 part Hunger Series, we were introduced to the Hunger Scale (get yours free here) and discovered how to avoid getting Over-Hungry (Part I) and learned to eat until satisfied, not full (Part II).
Now that you have a handle on how your body feels at each number on the Hunger Scale, you can use that skill to tackle the “Holy Grail of Eating”:
Distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger.
When you first have the idea that you want something to eat (see muffin above), do two things:
Give the current physical feeling a number, somewhere between -5 (Empty) and 5 (Stuffed), but hopefully you’re somewhere between -2 and 2 (Comfort Zone).
If the Hunger Scale number is higher than a -2 (anywhere from -1 to 0 to 5), consider waiting to eat. Your body doesn’t need fuel at this time. It’s a clue that the craving is a cry for some sort of comfort and not a need for sustenance.
Now, here’s where the work happens:
Try filling the very real need for comfort with something other than food.
Anything (non-food) that will bring some relief to the feeling of being disappointed by your sister (in this example).
We may decide we’re “hungry” (aka want food) when feeling other emotions as well. We’ve learned to treat these feelings with food, but there are often more direct ways to deal with the uncomfortable feelings of:
And remember: thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. So if you haven’t had something to drink in a while, have a glass of water and re-evaluate in 20 minutes.
Once you have a healthy grasp on what each number feels like on the Hunger Scale and you use it to discover your true physical hunger levels throughout the day, you are in control of your eating!
Hoorah! This is huge!
When you’re eating to satisfy your body’s needs and not your emotional ones, you’re on your way to sustainable weight loss. Forever.