Welp… this one hits close to home I’m sure. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’re here, you most likely struggle with eating when you aren’t hungry. I did for over 12 years and I could never pinpoint why (fine, I mean I usually could… I just could never stop). If that sounds like you?! Welcome. Happy you’re here. I was just like you. Get comfy.
Eating when you’re not hungry?
You aren’t alone, mi amor. But here’s the question – do you know why?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s all good – especially because your’e here. The most important thing you can do right now is to get curious with your actions. Please note I said curious. So many times we choose to eat, and we get piiiiiiiissed off. We beat ourselves up. We talk down to ourselves. It ain’t a pretty sight. So let’s just drop the whole mean girl Regina George act, and get curious.
What do I mean? Ask yourself. Simple, right? ‘Hey, you just ate when you weren’t hungry. Why is that? What’s going on?’
While that may be a tad too simplistic, it’s a helluva good place to start. It could be an emotion, a physical issue, an avoidance technique, it’s a long list of possibilities.
Let’s break it down to the five most common:
Or… lack thereof. Friendly reminder that not letting someone sleep is a true form of torture in some counties. I digress…
When you don’t sleep enough? You’re f*d. But seriously… you should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When you don’t get that, ghrelin increases, which is your hunger hormone and makes you want to eat. Leptin decreases, which is the hormone that makes you feel full and tells you it’s time to stop eating.
So when you find yourself tired and eating all day? It’s a biological response to your lack of shut eye.
You’re Avoiding an Emotion
Sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to eat and lick our wounds with food rather than deal with something we don’t want to. If you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed (and especially depending on what’s causing it), sometimes it’s better than to shovel it down.
The best way to get past this is recognize the feelings that you’re actively avoiding and figure out how you can deal with them head on. It will be uncomfortable, and it will suck, but at the end of the day, negative situations are the contrast to necessity of celebrating the positive.
You Have Food Guilt
If you still have food rules (get rid of em), and if you eat something you ‘shouldn’t?’ Down the rabbit hole you go. It’s so common to continue eating, because guilt and shame are the two biggest emotions that drive us to continue to eat.
Let go of the food guilt. I know it’s not as simple as it may sound, especially if you’ve dealt with this for years. Step one is practicing making all foods neutral – no good or bad, just freaking food.
You Avoid Hunger
The last diet (or diets) you’ve been on have told you it’s okay to be hungry. In fact, they have maybe even given you tools to distract yourself from hunger. Go on a walk, paint your nails, watch tv, run errands, dear God anything but eat!
One: that’s complete BS. When we are cold we put on a blanket. Thirsty? Drink water. Tired? Try to rest. But hunger? We do everything in our power to not eat. And then? The pendulum swings the other way, when we lose all control and can’t stop eating once we get a hold of food.
Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine is an appetite suppressant. Meaning, it curbs your appetite. And stop right there, I know what you’re thinking. ‘How is that bad?’
Again, the pendulum swings the other way. You may not be hungry in the moment, but its fake slash forced non-hunger, due to the caffeine. Meaning? You’ll be eating a whole lot more later.
While there are a slew of reasons you may be eating when you’re not hungry, these are usually the most common.
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