Are you Eating because You are Hungry or Bored?
In the past, our ancestors mostly ate for fuel. They had to hunt and gather their food.
Physical effort was required to get their daily meals.
As a result, there were times when they were hungry, and there were times when they could feast.
Nowadays, we have access to food ALL the time.
There is no shortage of food and even the poor people in the USA and the UK are overweight because they’re eating junk meals.
Food is no longer viewed as a source of fuel.
Most people never even let themselves get hungry. They eat round the clock.
They eat when they’re happy, sad, bored, angry, etc.
Food has become a form of therapy. As a result, we end up needing food to make ourselves feel better.
The problem here is that we don’t crunch on a piece of broccoli or chew on a carrot to feel good.
No no no. That would make things easy.
Instead, we crave for foods high in sugar, oil, salt and other harmful additives.
We’re hooked and addicted to these foods without realizing it.
The hidden sugar in most foods will spike our blood sugar levels and give us a temporary high… only to have our moods crashing down later. What do we do then?
We eat more to get another high. Once again, our blood sugar levels spike, insulin is released and the excess glucose gets stored as fat.
This scenario plays itself over and over every single day.
The end result is insulin insensitivity, obesity and possible diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol levels.
All these problems arise because we eat when we’re not hungry.
How to remedy this problem
The first step is mindfulness. Before you eat anything, ask yourself why you’re eating it.
Are you hungry or do you just want something to munch on while you watch Game of Thrones?
If it’s the latter, you don’t need the food. Put it aside and tell yourself that you only eat when you’re hungry.
If you’re not sure whether you’re hungry or not, drink a glass of water or two and wait 10 minutes.
In most cases, the hunger will disappear. You were never really hungry. Your mind is just reacting from habit.
Is it aligned with your weight loss goals?
Before eating any meal, look at the food and ask yourself if you’re eating more than necessary. You do need to maintain a caloric deficit to lose weight.
Sometimes, your portion sizes may be too large and work against your efforts.
Next, look at the foods you’re eating and ask yourself if they’re hurting or helping with your weight loss journey.
If most of the food on your plate is starchy carbohydrates, you’re not helping your cause.
Reduce the portion of carbs and increase your portion of protein, fats and veggies.
Boredom can set in when you’re aimlessly going through the daily motions.
Mindfulness will make you aware whenever you’re about to eat just to pass the time.
Typing on the computer at work while you pop in 2 M&Ms in your mouth every minute or so?
Stop. You don’t need the chocolate.
Just focus on your work and toss the chocolate in the bin. You’re trying to lose weight.
Apply this mindfulness throughout your waking hours so that you’re a gatekeeper to your mouth and every morsel of food that makes it through will have to pass your test.
Mindless eating is a bad habit.
Put an end to it with mindfulness.