Ever feel like you’re eating just to eat? Not because you are hungry, or you are trying to eat certain nutrients to be healthy but simply because you are bored or have food easily accessible. It is important to start realizing whether or not you have real hunger or you just desire the deliciousness of certain foods. Below are six situations you may catch yourself in where you should think twice about your urge to eat:
1. Multitasking through a meal
If you notice yourself using one hand to feed yourself while the other is checking your email, you are not allowing your brain to process the look, smell, or taste of your meal. Try to eat mindfully to avoid overeating by eliminating distractions. Put your laptop away, and set your fork down after you have a few bites so you can asses how the food feels inside your body and if you are full or not. Before you go up to get seconds clear the table, have a glass of water, and take some deep breaths, this gives you some time to let yourself digest.
2. Thinking very hard
Sometimes you are constantly on the go diminishing your energy throughout the day. This tends to stimulate your drive to eat regardless of what is in your stomach. Unlike working out, concentrating and thinking extra hard throughout the day doesn’t necessarily burn extra calories or increase the amount of calories your body needs.
3. Looking at appetizing food
In today’s social media world it is hard to open twitter, Facebook, or Instagram without seeing something extremely delicious looking. Just by seeing food we start to feel hungry regardless of our body’s energy needs. Before you eat something unhealthy drink some water, and choose fruits and vegetables first.
4. Watching sad or action-packed movies
Research has suggested that tear-jerker movies as well as action movies with fast camera cuts and sound variations can trigger snacking. Sometimes people will have twice as many calories during these types of movies than if you were watching something more laid back. Start to be aware of the snack choices you choose and pre-portion your choices so you do not eat the whole bag of chips next to you.
Alcohol contains a lot of calories but it also increases your desire to eat more and reduces your self-control. If you are buzzed and eating it enhances the short-term rewarding effects of food. Once you eat while buzzed or drunk your brain begins associating alcohol with food cravings regardless of your body’s need for food. Make sure you have healthy foods on hand if you know you are going to get a little buzzed.
Our bodies seem to be programmed to eat three meals a day, but if you have been snacking all day there is no reason to make yourself eat a full dinner. Three meals a day aren’t always necessary so don’t tell yourself you have to eat when your body may not even need more food.