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Head Hunger

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I am reading through "100 days of weight loss" by Linda Sprangle with a group of Sparkfriends. We have a discussion thread on the Emotional Eating Spark team.

Today's topic is "Head Hunger".

The author contends that there are times when we crave crunchy or chewy foods when we are feeling angry, frustrated, or resentful. She says when we have the desire to eat these kinds of foods we should ask ourselves, "What do I really want to chew on?"

I'm not sure that I buy this premise -- I think I enjoy nuts, chips, and popcorn because I like salty foods! But I DO agree that when I feel hungry, but am not interested in eating an apple or baby carrots, it's not real hunger but some emotion that's sending me to the fridge.

With me, it's more likely to be boredom than anything else.

So rather than ask myself, "What do I really want to chew on?", I think I need to ask myself if a healthy snack won't appease the hunger. If it won't, then I need to just avoid eating altogether!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUGAR0814
    emoticon I try to reach for gum when I know I'm not hunger.
    1547 days ago
    Good blog, it's usually not anger for me, it's usually boredom.
    1547 days ago
    Very interesting!! I think that all "crunching" is not about "anger" in my case anyhow -- but there is truly no "one size fits all" when it comes to figuring out the individual motivations and compulsions driving each of us.
    1548 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1548 days ago
    emoticon blog Nanette. I think that is the key...if you don't want something healthy to eat then you aren't hungry. Unfortunately for me, by the time I ask myself that I have already unconsciously eaten something that was not healthy! So I need to work on that. emoticon
    1548 days ago
    I guess there's a whole anger/aggression thingy for some people, but that doesn't apply to me. I am seduced by salty things, but the crunch is not the attraction for me.

    I appreciate this because it's another confirmation that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. We need to find what works for each of us. It's also nice to hear about possibilities that don't have a pharmaceutical "cure."
    1548 days ago
  • SARIC3
    I am definitely a boredom eater. I do like that idea that if I can't find something healthy to appease me then I'm not really hungry!
    1548 days ago
    I have seen others mention this book. what's your overall impression? Is it worth the cost and time to read?
    1548 days ago
    Great blog with so many good comments! emoticon
    1548 days ago
    Sometimes I'm not hungry, my teeth just want to chew and my throat wants to swallow. Those are the times I have to distract myself with a non-food activity!
    1548 days ago
    Well said. I read something a little along the same lines recently to the effect of if one thinks of healthy food before eating -- really imagines what it will taste and smell like -- they will tend to choose choose healthier foods. I've tried it when sweet tooth cravings hit -- imagining what my fave granny smith would taste like instead. Often just the thought of that flavor helps me realize I'm not really hungry after all. Like -Nancy, sometimes I think chew toys are in order. :)
    1548 days ago
    This is one of the reasons I don't eat between meals. The fewer times a day I deal with eating, the better off I am.
    1548 days ago
    emoticon emoticon

    I AM SO glad that there is someone else like me! emoticon
    I DO NOT buy into emotional eating ....I will however buy into boredom~ emoticon

    And I suppose if you get right down to it....

    BOREDOM is an emotion!! emoticon
    1548 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I agree with you. If a healthy snack does not appeal to you, try not to eat it and drink herbal tea. There is a head hunger for many reasons. Like you said boredom can be one of them. I liked that book.
    1549 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Sometimes I just need to gnaw. Maybe I just need a chew toy. LOL
    Love the question you want to ask yourself.
    1549 days ago
    1549 days ago
    I find that head hunger is less of a problem if I do not let myself get too hungry (regular hunger) If I get too hungry then I really start thinking about food in the wrong way.
    1549 days ago
    I'm as practical as you. Sometimes I just want to eat a food because I like the salt on it, and when that happens, I need to face that fact and get away from food altogether.

    The best test I've heard came from WW: If you're hungry, a cup of broccoli will do. If a cup of broccoli won't do, you aren't hungry.

    Great blog, Nanette.

    1549 days ago
    The celery works for me as well.....just have to remember to get it all prepared before the urge strikes!
    1549 days ago
    Head hunger - so true.
    1549 days ago
    I love the salty stuff too, but I do really chomp on celery sticks when I am frustrated or stressed out. Started packing zip top bags of them to work just to test the theory and the crunch really did ease my frustration and anger without all the calories or orange fingers of Cheetos!
    1549 days ago
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