Param Dedhia eloquently suggested when you feel hungry, "HALT" and assess what is really happening.
H -- True physiological Hunger
A -- Feelings of Anger, Agitation, Anxiety or Annoyance
L -- Feeling Lonely
T -- Feeing Tired
Allow yourself to take a pause to understand your true feelings for why you are hungry, then you can then decide if food is going to assist you.
If you are genuinely hungry, eat! Eat a balanced plate of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to properly satiate yourself and fuel yourself.
If you are not physically hungry but experiencing one of the ALT-ernative feelings, support yourself through those feelings without food. While tempting, food is not going to make any of those feelings go away.
Consider self care through one of the following approaches, to support yourself during emotional moments.
- Hot cup of tea
- Talking to a friend, family member or someone who supports you
- Going for a walk
- Getting some fresh air
- Going for a workout
- Visit somewhere beautiful -- beach, woods, desert, sunset, sunrise, park bench
- Listening to some music
- Watching some TV or film
- Sit for 5 minutes and breathe -- set a timer on your phone, find a breathing or meditation app to time or guide you.
- Play -- dance around the house, go do something silly and fun
- Learn something -- go to a lecture, museum, class
We often eat as a form of comfort. We believe food will make the feelings of anxious/lonely/tired go away. They may for a moment, but they usually come back.
We often eat out of habit. When we feel anxious/lonely/tired we always eat ice cream (fill in the blank on your vice), and it has become an automatic reflex even though the ice cream does not truly help.
We often eat mindlessly. If we were eating only when we were physically hungry, portion sizes and emotional cravings would not be an issue. We often eat without paying attention and the calories can add up.
Take a moment before you take a bite... and make sure it is providing you with what you need.
Be good to yourself!