Get Off the Hamster Wheel, Guide to Changing Your Habits Tip #7

In Fitness, Motivation and Success, Nutrition by AngelaLeave a Comment

Getting right to the point this week, this of course builds on last week:

Tip #7. If you think you want to eat, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I really hungry?
  2. What do I want to eat?  If it is a sweet ask yourself this
  3. Could I be satisfied with a healthier option, protein or a meal instead? If the answer is no, ask yourself this
  4. Do I really want this or am I craving this because I want something non-food related? Am I trying to meet an emotional need with food?
  5. If the answer to that is yes, have the courage to treat the emotional need and the craving will go away.

A craving is a signal that you are in need, the proverb is that somewhere along the way we got our remedies confused. When we were young and we wanted comfort, we would run to get a hug, play with friends when we were lonely, eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, cry when sad, invent games when bored and sleep when tired. Somewhere in the course of growing up we found out that just because we needed something we didn’t always get it, so we turned to food, activities or maybe even drugs, whatever gave you pleasure to meet those needs. We confused pleasure with meeting needs. To change your habits you have to go back to the source: identify your real need and have the courage to meet it instead of substituting food (or other things) for the answer.
When I started asking these questions I REALLY got somewhere.  I found that 7 times out of 10 I wasn’t really hungry.  Bummer.  I like to eat, but my hunger levels are actually much smaller than I think.  When I found I had a craving for something I’d ask “what do I really want?”  Am I trying to meet an emotional need with food?  Most of the time I found out, yes, I was.  I was either lonely, stressed, anxious, bored or tired.  In fact, tired was a big one.  A lot of times I found myself wanting to eat because I needed energy.  The answer for that? I thought “ok, I can  either eat for energy…or why am I tired? Not enough sleep, so GO TO BED! Whatever you’re doing can wait, and you’ll do it better tomorrow anyway!”
Easier said than done right? Maybe, but maybe not, you will never know till you try. It can be very empowering to meet your own needs correctly, it lets tug know on a deep level that your needs ARE worthy of being met, that you know enough to know what YOU want and can actually satisfy yourself. Tug don’t need permission. Sometimes we get caught in child mode, even subconsciously, and having the courage to identify what it is when you have a craving and WHY can empower you to change your habit of eating for comfort to being comforted by a movie, a walk, or another person. Don’t be afraid to go there, ours really worth it.
So this week everytime you want to eat ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Am I really hungry?
  2. What do I want to eat?  If it is a sweet ask yourself this
  3. Could I be satisfied with a healthier option, protein or a meal instead? If the answer is no, ask yourself this
  4. Do I really want this or am I craving this because I want something non-food related? Am I trying to meet an emotional need with food?
  5. If the answer to that is yes, have the courage to treat the emotional need and the craving will go away.

 
If you haven’t read the other tips in the series, they are meant to be read in order.  Start here:
The 9 Things you need to do to change your habits and get off the hamster wheel!

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