Emotional Hunger V’s True Hunger: How To Tell The Difference - Happy Apple Nutrition

Emotional Hunger V’s True Hunger: How To Tell The Difference

Emotional Hunger V's Mind Hunger

Eating for non hungry reasons, also known as emotional eating, is a common barrier to optimal health and weight loss.

Do you ever find yourself searching the pantry for a sweet or salty snack to help soothe unwanted feelings of stress, sadness, worry or anger?

This behaviour is characteristic of emotional eating and could be keeping you from hitting your goals and achieving the body you really want.

Fortunately, this is something we have helped hundreds of our clients to overcome inside Mind. Body. Fuel program in just 12 weeks. In this blog post we’re going to share some of the helpful strategies we use to get such transformational results in a short time.

But first, let’s look at some of the reasons why food is such a common ‘go to’ to suppress negative feelings and emotions.

One of the most common reasons is ‘filling a void’ that we may have inside. This void can be due to the loss of a loved one, a breakup, an unwanted career change or a feeling of dissatisfaction with ones self.

Food is a popular choice to fill this void because it provides comfort and an immediate feeling of security.

Remember when you were a little kid and mum or dad would offer you a sweet treat or a hearty home cooked meal to pick you up when you were feeling sad?

These kinds of behaviours form strong associations over time so that as we become adults, we continue to use food in such a way; to comfort.

How can you tell the difference between true physical hunger and emotional hunger?

Knowing the different signs of each type of hunger is the first important step to regaining control over emotional eating. Heres a helpful summary of the characteristics of each:

True physical hunger is characterised by the following:

  • Develops slowly
  • Desire a variety of food groups
  • Feel the sensation of fullness and recognise it as a cue to stop eating
  • You have no negative feelings about eating

Emotional hunger on the other hand is characterised by the following:

  • It comes on suddenly
  • You crave specific foods or food groups
  • You may binge on food and not feel a sensation of fullness
  • You feel guilt or shame about eating

Now that you understand how to tell the difference between true hunger and emotional hunger, here’s some of the ways we help our clients in Mind. Body. Fuel to regain control over emotional eating and reclaim their health.

Get Moving
Rather than opting for a band aid solution, it can be much more effective to treat the source of the problem. In the case of emotional eating, the behaviour is always triggered by an unwanted emotion. The most common being stress. What is the emotion that most commonly triggers your emotional eating?

No matter the answer you gave, a more effective way to manage that emotion (other than eating) is through movement.

Movement is so powerful for creating change in our clients because it changes the physical state of the body. It pulls you out of your usual pattern and provides enough (mental) space to rethink your actions and move forward in a different way.

Start A Food Diary
Journalling is a great way to enhance mindfulness and promote accountability. We find that the clients who regularly write in their food journal get better resets and do less (if any) emotional eating.

Ask our dietitian about a food diary template in a free consultation! Click here to book

Eat A Healthy And Balanced Diet
Emotional eating can often be triggered by cravings and cravings are much harder to experience when you’re eating properly. When clients first join Mind. Body. Fuel, the first thing we do is give them a full menu plan. This helps take away all of the guesswork and ensures they’re eating a balanced and nutritious diet right away.

Eating better not only improves health but it also improves mood. Those feelings that once triggered emotional eating such as stress, sadness or worry disappear almost immediately.

Emotional eating is not something we’re equipped to deal with alone. There are many physical and mental challenges at play and seeking professional help from an expert is best thing you can do. When you’re ready to regain control of emotional eating and reclaim your health, click here to book a FREE assessment call and apply for Mind. Body. Fuel. In just 12 weeks your entire mindset, body, health and life could be turned around. Click here to book now