How to Control Hunger Pangs and Tackling Emotional Eating
by Erika Slater
Are you an individual who is ‘always hungry’ or have a difficult time walking away from eating whenever food is presented, even though you know you’re really only eating just for the sake of eating?
Perhaps the problem is all about your own ‘will power.’
Also, perhaps you’re trying to cut down on calories, or modify your eating habits due to being on a new eating program or diet but it’s making you unable to control your appetite.
Many diets cause hunger pangs, which is the result of your stomach emptying after digesting your last meal, and the walls come into contact and rub against one another.
Is there something you can do to control your hunger and retrain your hunger instincts? Yes, there is but first let’s see what could be going on before discussing solutions.
WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL HUNGRY?
Whenever you’re starting a new eating program for dietary or healthy lifestyle reasons, both your body and mind are going to have to adjust, and then accept the change. This is going to take some time. Let’s face it! You’ve probably eaten the same foods for years and even decades.
Not only is eating and digestion a physical phenomenon, it’s also a psychological ‘lifestyle.’
Furthermore, eating itself can be a deeper level ‘emotional’ activity for some individuals and when they change their eating pattern drastically, they can also create an emotional shift for their feelings.
There has been research showing food intake and acquisition of it has been directly correlated to emotional feelings of reward and satisfaction. Additionally, for some individuals, food brings them extreme amounts of pleasure. In essence, they crave the pleasure (taste, smell, sensations) the food brings them, rather than what the actual nutrition provides.
I’ve had many a weight loss client balk at the prospect of giving up a favorite food in order to achieve a goal they have around their weight. “Oh, I could never give up pasta, it’s the Italian in me.” They want to change for sure but don’t want to change. Pasta is sugar; it has the same affect on your body as eating candy which pleases the senses but adds no nutritional value but a lot of risk to health.
Like all foods as I explain, cutting them out is more an emotional tussle than a food necessity decision.
Basically, even though it’s about the food on one level, on a deeper level it’s more about the ‘pleasurable’ sensations the food provides. This can create anticipations and “hunger” for individuals who would not otherwise be hungry.
Some individuals changing their diets may be getting the exact same number of calories, or even more in their eating portions, but the food they’re eating is now more pure and natural. If they are getting the same or more calories, then why are they still hungry?
It’s their emotions and body chemistry toward the ‘new’ foods in their diets which have perhaps caused them to feel disappointment, or even feel ‘hungry.’ They ‘crave’ for their old foods – sugars, starches, processed flours, additives, heavy fats, etc.
Even though I’m selective in what I eat, come the evening at the end of a long day I’m looking for something sweet, even just after I’ve had dinner. It’s got nothing to do with body hunger but all about emotional eating.
Realize then if you have hunger pangs, outside the obvious it’s lunchtime and “I do need to get fuel in my body”, then your diet may be insufficient and/or you need to face the fact you’re dealing with emotional eating cravings.
I’m not going to discuss diets much because there’s so much misleading information out there from so-called gurus trying to sell you products that I’d rather you find a diet that works for you.
My general advice is not to count calories. Eat only when you’re hungry in your stomach. Cut out sugars and processed foods as much as you can. Be active.
Having given you this general advice I realize none of it can be easy for most of us. Hence the next section on how to control the hunger pangs.
CONTROLLING THE HUNGER PANGS:
There are ways you can curve your hunger and do it healthy and naturally.
Don’t count calories and don’t be fooled by the calories in and calories out argument. It’s not based on scientific fact and just a guide but a dangerous one in my estimation. The reality is each person has their own body chemistry and this interferes with calories in/out theory.
Instead increase your intake of protein-rich foods as this will induce a strong anti-eating hormone response. If you choose to eat foods having higher water contents, such as soups and vegetables, you can eat more and feel fuller as they have lower energy density levels compared to higher fatty foods.
There’s a bombardment of material out there about how many meals to eat a day. There’s the skip breakfast brigade and fast until lunchtime. You’ll also hear the “eat your main meal at lunchtime and have a lite dinner” mantra. Etc, etc.
My advice is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re had enough. Be aware the trigger to your brain to stop because you’re full is delayed, and so eating slowly is recommended otherwise by the time you get the message you’re full… you’re actually over-eaten!
If I want you to take away only one piece from today’s article its to cut out sugars and processed foods. They’re killing you and me.
It’s going to be difficult for some to do this. Many of the foods you likely eat at the moment are from cans or boxes and contain sugar and are processed to include all types of chemicals you really don’t need or want in your body.
But all these foods go a long way to keeping you hungry from a physical and emotional perspective. The fact is they make you consume more of these same foods. We have the food industry to thank for this. After all their goal is to sell you more rather than less, right?
Being active not only prepares you for eating for the sake of needed replenishment (this is good) rather than out of habit, and it decreases boredom. Boredom is dangerous because it can lead to emotional eating.
Certainly, controlling hunger pangs is a deep topic I’ve only skimmed in this article. I also know following some of this advice without support and coaching of others will be difficult for a good number of you.
There are groups that can help. If you’ve chosen a diet plan that offers this such as Weight Watchers, then I encourage you to participate in their local chapters. After all, you’re paying for it!
Alternatively, hypnosis is a method for overcoming and retraining your mind when it comes to your eating habits. Using hypnosis can retrain your unconscious perceptions you have, and help you to shut down the mechanisms that would otherwise have you focusing on hunger and anticipation for your next meals. I cover all this in my weight loss hypnosis service.
If this direction appeals to you then seek out a local hypnotherapist who specializes in weight loss and emotional eating or sugar addiction.
There are also hypnosis sessions you can download and listen repeatedly on your MP3 device or Smartphone and one such session to control hanger pains can be found here >>>
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and I’d like for you to leave a comment below about the contents and what we could do to help more.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR EMOTIONAL EATING:
Erika Slater CH
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