I had a conversation with a friend about eating. He mentioned something one of his teachers suggested, that people often eat food when they are really hungry for something else. It makes sense. Think of the times you have been watching TV or a movie or reading a book, and you reach for a snack. It may be stress, or it may be a habit. Think about eating because you want approval . . . there are many overweight people who eat too much because they are still seeking approval from their parents. Or they eat too much, because their mom’s answer to whatever was wrong was milk and a cookie. (If you are English, it is apt to be a cup of tea. At least that has fewer calories.)
My friend’s teacher suggested that when you feel hungry, ask yourself: What am I hungry for? I usually run through a routine of asking, Am I physically hungry? If I get a no, I ask if I am emotionally hungry. No? Am I mentally hungry? No? Am I spiritually hungry? If you get no for all of them, it must just be a habit — find something else to distract yourself. But if it is one of those other three things — emotional, mental, or spiritual — I ask what it is I need. I practice muscle checking , but if you make a practice of listening to your body or using your intuition, that will work just as well. If you have never done any of those things, try getting calm, asking yourself the question, and waiting quietly for a few minutes. Pay attention to the first thing that pops into your mind. Does that give you an answer? Sometimes the subconscious works in symbols, so if it is a “thing,” what does that thing mean to you? If it is a pair of shoes, does your body really want to go for a walk? To get some exercise or fresh air? The same symbol might also work for emotional or mental hunger.
I do not always do this, as my 30 extra pounds will testify, 😦 But I am doing it again.
The next time you find yourself feeling hungry an hour after eating, ask yourself, What am I really hungry for?