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10 Reasons You Eat When You're Not Actually Hungry

And What You Can Do About It!


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  • When I catch myself wanting to eat when I am not hungry, one of the first questions I ask myself is "am I thirsty?" I have found that many times, that is the culprit!
  • For me, my issue is that I get an urge for something sweet before going to sleep. Just realizing that is probably why the scale will not budge.
  • JUSTUS711
    I eat when I'm not supposed to because I want a "taste". I love to cook, thus, I am always looking for new recipes, and watch cook shows continuously, making it difficult to keep off that ugly cellulite. UGH!
  • Don't forget procrastination! I often eat to avoid doing something I don't want to do. Then I have two problems.

    I also have eating trigger situations, like sitting at my desk grading. It provides distraction in a way that enables me to stay at the desk. But I need to work on that, either by eating something like cucumbers and celery or something healthy. If I let myself get up to walk around, then it's hard to make myself sit back down and focus on the work. Tough one.
  • KKB501
    Pretty sure I fit into all of these at some point or another...
  • I can't help but notice that the majority of these issues are emotionally driven.
    To cope: Anger, sadness, stress, anxiety.
    Boredom/Food is there: An underlying anxiety to do something, anything, other than have to just "be" with yourself and your feelings.
    Other people eating/food pushers: Wanting to be liked or fit in.
    Special occasion/I deserve it: Food equals love/celebration. Why do you deserve it? What else is happening in your life that you need to make up for with food?
    Clean plate syndrome: Guilt.
    If you can relieve the underlying stress inducing emotions, most of these issues take care of themselves. I know I had to take a good hard look at why food was such a reward and comfort before I could lose the weight. I had to ask myself all these questions. Food was definitely fulfilling an emotional role in my life.
    I agree with most of what is said here, but I won't agree with your comment that you should bring your own food to a celebration, unless you have a dietary restriction that the host doesn't know about. The reason being that it smacks of rudeness of what the host has prepared and honestly some would feel offense to the fact that a guest won't partake of the food that has been prepared. A good host would take into account that some guests won't want to eat certain foods and have certain restrictions. You are there as a guest and honestly having a bit of fat in one's diet, within reason, is actually good for a person and not as bad as some individuals make it out to be. If you don't want to have those sort of foods and you know that they are going to be served at a particular event, simply don't go or if you can't avoid going, don't eat certain foods.
  • Most of these apply to me. My biggest issue is that I'm an "opportunistic eater" if I have the opportunity to eat, then I eat!
  • Another point that was not made here is that your body sends out several different "hunger" signals, some of which aren't related to how full your stomach is. This is all regulated by hormones.

    If your cells are still hungry (this means you, Type 2 diabetics!) you will still feel hungry even if your stomach is stuffed. Insulin resistance is a major cause of unrequited hunger.
  • LOSEME8890
    I have been with WW for years, it's a motto NOT to skip meals. I have taken all the junk food out of my house...but I can gain weight on fruit. I know it's natural sugar but I have a sweet tooth. I also know fruit is healthy but I can eat a bag of grapes,an apple and a banana. Then eat a meal. I try to buy only a few fruits a week, but if I don't eat fruit I pig out on something else.
    Sugar free puddings, nuts or just cereal
    I fall into quite a few of these traps but I also have an oral fixation. I don't smoke or chew on toothpicks but I will keep a lollipop stick in my motuih long after the candy is gone.
  • How about thirst? How about that you've been eating certain types of food that your body gets accustomed to? Diabetes makes people feel hungry.. I spent my whole life hearing about 'emotional eating" and thought I must be a mess. I have since learned that WHAT we eat can make a HUGE difference. MSG is a known trigger that makes people feel hungrier and overeat (for many reasons, including an addictive property). I do emotionally eat occasionally, but I have found that by abstaining from msg laden processed foods and overly sugary foods has really helped my appetite. Exhausting in today's world of all processed and convenience foods to stay away from MSG, but worth it!
  • Wait, I thought the best way to lose weight was to eat at the same time every day. Granted, when 6 o'clock comes, I don't always feel hungry, but I do make sure to eat. "Eating" doesn't mean 5 courses. Sometimes it's a piece of fruit or a smoothie. Enough to fill me, not so much as to stuff me. The clock is sometimes my best friend when it comes to food. On busy days, I don't realize that I haven't eaten in 12 hours because I worked through lunch and I'm still working. Looking up and going, "Oh, it's mealtime. I guess I should be hungry." And then being told "No, don't eat just because it's time to" with this article... yeah, I think this should be 9, and let's drop the clock. Or mention eating smaller at meals if your aren't hungry.
  • This article article is incredibly short-sighted, & is disturbing to someone familiar with eating disorders. Eating when you're not hungry is sometimes necessary. I have chronic hypoglycemia (not diabetes related) & if I only eat when I'm hungry, I could easily pass out from low blood sugar, and constant lows wreck one's metabolism. If I truly want to lose weight, I have to eat when I'm not hungry.

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