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Ask “Am I hungry?”
The next time you decide to eat, wait 30 seconds or a minute and consider your emotional needs versus your physical needs with this hunger. When feeling hungry due to emotions, it is typically a sudden and urgent feeling that craves a specific food, usually junk food or chocolate or sugar. This type of hunger is not satisfied even with overeating and it is normal to eat in excess and get to a place where you feel uncomfortably full. After engaging in this emotional hunger, you may experience emotions of guilt, shame, helplessness, or displeasure as the food did not nourish your body. It may feel satisfying at the time but after reflecting on your emotions, you may realise that the emotions you had return and are intensified or maybe even different emotions.
When working on strategies to stop stress eating, mindful eating is known to have a major positive impact. If you have confirmed that you are choosing food for the right reasons, specifically for physical hunger, try practicing a mindful eating technique. Mindful eating is a concept where you become fully present and aware of the food or drink you are consuming. With eating mindfully, best practice is to savour each bite, eat with little or no distractions, and make food choices that you are proud of. Practicing this mindfulness helps to pause, take it slow, and note your hunger levels before indulging in junk food or stress eating. Choose where you eat, try to sit at a table rather than have food on your knee while watching TV. If you eat whilst watching TV you will end up doing it subconsciously rather than consciously. Have you ever taken a large box of popcorn or sweets into the cinema? You don’t even realise you’re eating after a few minutes. Your hand just dips in and out of the box until it’s empty… often you’re surprised and wonder why it’s empty. “I didn’t just eat all them did I?” So at home put your phone or tablet away, switch of the TV and eat mindfully. Enjoy your food and the moment rather than just eating until it’s gone!
Pause and consider your emotions
Pause and note WHY and WHEN you are going for foods out of boredom. Use the Hypno Diet food diary and note each time you eat along with reflecting on your emotions. Remember to write everything down before you eat or drink. By doing it this way it also gives you time to think, are you actually hungry? Next, determine the triggers around your tendency to eat out of boredom. Are you used to snacking during the same time each day? Is it because you see others eating? Are you eating simply because food is present and easily accessible? Recording this in your Hypno Diet food diary can help you recognise these patterns and give you an idea of where to start breaking the habit of boredom-eating.
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