You don’t only eat when you’re hungry. You’re probably aware of this, but you aren’t sure how to stop it. To help you get over this hurdle, take these two steps:
1) Determine WHY you are eating when you aren’t hungry
2) Find something you can do INSTEAD of eating during those times
The Cause: Boredom
Do you eat more when you are not as busy and have more free time? Do you ever find yourself snacking just because you have nothing else to do, or continue to eat a meal or snack just because you’ve already started and it’s easy just to keep going? This is sometimes referred to as mindless eating.
The Remedy: Pay Attention to Hunger
When you’re eating, pay attention to how hungry you actually are. Do you need to keep eating to satisfy your hunger? If the answer is no, then stop. Stop eating when you are satisfied, rather than going until you reach a feeling of being totally “stuffed”.
Sometimes, the answer really is that simple: paying attention to how you feel. It’s easy to overdo something when you aren’t monitoring it closely enough, and when it becomes routine.
The Cause: Stress
I know I don’t have to tell you this- sometimes you eat because you’re stressed. Food is very comforting and can help make you feel better when you’ve had a tough day or you’re having a stressful moment.
The Remedy: Find An Alternative Stress-Reliever
Make a list of all the activities you do that improve your mood. When you’re bored or stressed and think you might eat (even if you know you aren’t really hungry), break out the list, and do one of those activities instead of eating. Your list can include simple stuff like reading, drinking coffee, walking your dog, spending time with your children or partner, etc. Try to write down at least 15 activities. They can be silly or serious activities- it doesn’t matter, it’s YOUR list! Give yourself plenty of options to choose from.
So many people continue to overeat simply because they don’t even know they are doing it. The food you put into your body is important enough for you to keep a close eye on. You wouldn’t mindlessly put gas into your car even if it was filled to the brim with the fuel gauge on F. Treat your body with the same level of care.