"I think I'm just feeling more hungry because I'm bored"
"It like I find myself in the kitchen even though I'm not really hungry."
"I know I'm just an emotional eater"
We have all lost so many of our normal "rhythms" during COVID. And it can feel exhausting to figure out why we are eating more right now.
That's because our brains are exhausted from the incredible amounts of energy to establish new "normal" routines. Same is true for our appetites. They're adjusting to a new "normal".
Do you find yourself oddly hungry these days?
My clients have been experiencing different types of hunger and have been asking about how to cope with this new challenge. In the fourth foundations video inside of the Wellness Cohort, we talk what is influencing our eating behaviors.
But here's how to shift your mindset by understanding different kinds of hunger:
Stop thinking it's wrong to feel different kinds of hunger.
That it can't possibly be true that they need to eat. Again.
Let's examine why you can feel hungry even if you've just eaten.
There are 4 main types of hunger that tell us to eat:
HUNGRY EATING Physical hunger is just needed the raw need for energy. Plain + simple. You've run out of calories.
When we feel the physical signs of hunger, it means we just need to eat. You might not even experience a "gnawing" sensation in your stomach, because the brain tells us we are hungry in many different ways. Headache, a feeling of weakness, shakiness or have more thoughts of food are other signs of physical hunger.
WATERING MOUTH EATING This is when you have a "taste" for something beyond being physically hungry. Imagine if you had just eaten a satisfying meal, and your friend dropped by with your favorite cookie from that amazing bakery. The suggestion of it starts to make your mouth water.
You probably want to taste it.
That's why your mouth starts watering when you see a commercial for food you like.
Remember, taste hunger isn't bad-- it is one of many ways we anticipate savoring food that we love.
PRACTICAL EATING This is eating to be prepared. Maybe you aren't hungry or full, but need to eat in preparation for an event or activity. For example, eating before a train ride or a sporting event, or having lunch at a certain time every day may happen even if you aren't hungry in the moment.
EMOTIONAL EATING Emotional hunger is a complex signal from our brain to tell us to eat to provide relief from pain, or to increase pleasure. It can be a response to a real or perceived threat. It can also be triggered by previous "happy" memories that prompt us to look for certain foods that bring a greater sense of wellbeing or pleasure (think about birthday cake = happy memories = current cupcake popularity)
This is explaining hunger is simplest terms.
Don't feel frustrated that it can be hard at times to distinguish between the different types of hunger. You can be hungry for more than one reason :)
As always the mindset we have is key.
How are you thinking about your hunger? Does it prompt a negative emotion? Or a positive one? Work to strengthen your hunger cues and reassure your body that you are taking care of it today by loving it with good food 💛
Keep loving good food,