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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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  • Moomshine is correct that diabetics need to eat at certain times even if they aren't hungry. My hunger and my blood sugar level do not always coordinate and then I crash.
  • I never used to crave carbs, but in the last year, I have craved sugary foods and carbs even when I am not hungry. I have yet to determine whether it is hormonal or something else, but I don't want to become a diabetic so I need to figure out the problem. I am 43 and thinking it is hormone issues possibly. If anyone else has had the same issues with extreme cravings in their 40's, please leave a response. Thank you.
  • I need to link this page for the next time I'm upset about something. One thing worth mentioning, though, is that we diabetics need to eat every 3 - 4 hours, hungry or not. Theoretically, this should keep us from over-eating; but not so. We still can eat for all the above-mentioned wrong reasons. Thanks for the good Article. Since I've begun this program (5 months), I've had two emotional "episodes" - succumbed to one, but was able to quit without too much damage; the other, I toughed-out. Maybe next time, I'll have enough rational thought to come back to this article. 8-)
    I've mostly ate out of boredom. I really have to watch myself that I don't go into the pantry, and grab something just because it's there and I'm bored. I'm starting to get better at this, by telling myself NO! I'm not hungry, stop grabbing food just because I'm bored or it's there. Sometimes it helps to say it out loud. (I only do this when I'm by myself). lol, but it seems to help.
  • This really hit home for me. I eat for all the reasons listed. I cannot remember the last time I was truly hungry. My main take away idea is to imagine myself eating a favorite food. I am definitely going to try that one.
  • There are some excellent strategies embedded in this article! Click on the links to learn more about how to avoid emotional eating!!
  • I started cutting down my calories 2 months ago. I overate today for the first time in months (stress eating) and I feel just totally awful physically. :-(
  • ...OR some of us grew up in poverty and understand the real value of food. Simply writing it off as "clean plate syndrome" does us a bit of a disservice. If you've every actually gone hungry, truly hungry, with no idea where your next meal is coming from, the thought of letting food go to waste is more than a little disturbing.

  • I do only eat when I'm hungry; unfortunately, I feel hungry almost all the time. I wake up hungry; a few hours after breakfast I'm hungry again, I'm hungry at lunch, and then again a few hours later, and then at dinner time I'm starving again. I wish someone could come up with a way to turn off that hunger--no one ever addresses the fact that when I cut down on foods, I feel like I'm starving all the time. My stomach growls, and I get a headache if I'm stuck in a meeting an hour past lunch time. Now my husband never gets hungry--he goes all day without eating sometimes, and only eats at night. I wish I could forget to eat! How can I turn the hunger pangs off? I'm so sick of people telling me to only eat when I'm hungry, If I actually ate only when I was hungry, I'd weigh a ton! The only thing that's ever worked is the Atkins diet, or taking Dexatrim (back when it had ephedrine), to get rid of the hunger pangs, but I get tired of only eating protein and Ephedrine got taken off the market.
  • Unfortunately, eating according to hunger cues doesn't work for everyone. If I only ate when I was hungry, I'd lose weight that I can't really afford to lose!
  • My body can't tell the difference between extreme hunger and the need to burp! Also, I have been known to overeat to stay awake... really dumb too.
  • How about to procrastinate? "I need to vacuum, but I think I'll have a snack first". I am very guilty of eating in lieu of doing something I'm supposed to be getting done in order to put off the unpleasant task (at work and at home!)
  • I don't eat leftovers...but then again I don't really have left overs. My husband and son consume everything and still ask for more.
  • I am curious about the reason "Because the Clock Says So". The article seems to think this is a bad thing. However, I have read other information here on Spark People that says that if you wait to eat until you are hungry, then you end up consuming more calories than you would have had you eaten on time. The biggest example is people who skip breakfast. They claim they are not hungry, but studies say that you end up consuming more calories daily because you have skipped "the most important meal" Anyone have any thoughts on this. I am curious.

  • Great blog. I would have added - because you are dehydrated....Because you have a nutritional imbalance, because you drank a bunch of sweet drinks and now have a salt swing.

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