why do I eat when I am not hungry?
Saturday, October 06, 2012
A lot of blogs and threads have already covered a lot of the more common, including stress, emotion, boredom, etc. For me, there are several reasons why I would eat when I was not hungry. If I am bored, this certainly can be the case, although that can also be handled by drinking water or chewing gum. That one is easy to tackle. If I feel like I, whether because I worked out hard, or because I had a difficult day, etc., "deserve" this food or that, I often will eat more than I should. This one is harder, because after I am full, it often doesn't taste as good, so I try to think of something that would taste good, and therefore be a decent treat...can lead to disaster. Sometimes I tell myself that if I am hungry later, it will be more of a treat then, and sometimes I even listen to myself. Have you ever been shopping, and when you got home you felt like you needed to put on that new top and spray yourself with that new perfume? I often do this with grocery shopping as well. If a food comes in the house that isn't necessarily a staple, some of it is often consumed as I am putting it away. This as well is hard to fight against. I think the biggest problem I have is that I am on several different medications that suppress appetite, and I am rarely hungry, at least not before I am light headed. I am sure some of you are probably saying to yourselves that you wish that you had that problem, but I am also prediabetic. So, I try to eat regularly so my blood sugar doesn't dip, but I very rarely experience actual hunger. Because I don't feel hungry to begin with, it is much harder to feel satiety as well. So often I end up overeating because I know my body needs nutrition, and so I eat, but I don't really know when to stop. Does anyone else experience this? Please let me know.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I have tried to break meals up into a series of snacks, or 5 or 6 smaller meals, but it is actually easier for me to plan for large-ish just a few times a day. It can be so easy to say, it only has 100 calories, I don't need to track this until later, and still believe I have a couple hundred calories to play with until I track at the end of all my snacking. I sort of wish that I remembered what hunger felt like, because it is really annoying to be going along on my days off, just doing fun stuff (you know, like 8 mile runs and jogging to the gym and swimming, etc. lol) and then all of a sudden I will be light headed and/or have a massive headache or migraine and check the time and be like, "Oh, I haven't eaten in 8 hours and did massive amounts of exercise, duh." Anyway, was mostly just wondering if anyone else had the not physically hungry problem as well.
1450 days ago
It is all about brain chemistry, and that is why it is so hard to fight. You are fighting your own brain chemisty. When we eat, the "feel good" neuro-transmitter serotonin is released in our brains. Fast carbs are digested quickly and give us that serotonin boost faster than other foods, so we crave fast carbs when we need that boost. And then, just like any other addiction, it doesn't work after awhile, and we keep eating more and more, trying to reach that "high".
So if you think of over-eating as an addiction you can understand why it is so hard to overcome. But we can overcome it by eliminating fast carbs and eating close to nature. Try to not bring prepared foods and snacks into your house. Some people can eat a little and forget the rest, I can not. And never ever stop at McD's or BK again, there is nothing there that we can eat!
All those blogs about our emotional reasons don't get to the reason behind the emotional eating, it's serotonin.
The advice from WhittleTheWaist is very good and helpful. Her snacks include healthy fats. Don't try to eliminate all fat, healthy fats increase satiety and reduce cravings.
1451 days ago
Comment edited on: 10/6/2012 12:12:48 PM
Eat more frequently. Divide your total amount of calories by either 4 or 5, and make this how many calories you eat each meal. Eating 4 to 5 times a day will make sure your blood sugar stays in check and you don't feel the urge as much to eat, even when you aren't hungry.
Plan your meals as much as possible, so there's no guessing when it comes to meal time. Keep candy/ice cream/other snacks out of the kitchen. If you need a snack, factor that in to your 5 meals a day, use two of those meals as "snack" like meals like mozzarella cheese/whole wheat crackers/some fruit or ants on a log.
1451 days ago
I eat by the clock not my hunger. I can (and do) misinterpret hunger, but never the clock.
1451 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.