Did you grab that packet of chips or munch some candies to satisfy your hunger? Did you dig into an ice-cream tub because you were either too excited about winning a game of chess, or you managed to crack the deal? Did you rip open a bar of chocolate just because you were feeling upset when you lost that game of soccer? Did you take a big slice of cake to binge on because you are feeling low and frustrated for scoring low grades on your report card?
These are some of the common scenarios we face in our life almost everyday. There are times when we are happy and excited, we want to celebrate our victory because we feel we’ve earned it. Sometimes we are sad and want to hide our sadness and frustration –both ways we are emotionally driven to eat. This is because our body is sending out signs of hunger. Many a times we reach for the food just to satisfy ourselves emotionally and not because we’re hungry.
Are we experiencing physical hunger or emotional is the question we need to ask ourselves? For unnecessary and careless eating can lead to overeating and excessive weight gain.
Before you casually find yourself munching on some fried snacks and calorie laden beverages merely because they are within your easy reach ask yourself some very relevant questions…
⦁ Are you really HUNGRY?
⦁ Is it physical hunger or emotional hunger?
⦁ What does your body really need?
⦁ Is it food that your body needs?
⦁ Is it some emotional outlet that you are looking for?
It is very important to rule out these possibilities and learn to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger? So the next time you find yourself craving a sweet or salty snack, try a simple test called the Apple Test to see if your body needs energy, in other words physically hungry.
Before you head to the kitchen to crack open a packet of cookies or crispy chips, stop and ask yourself if I only had a large apple in my kitchen would I eat it?
If the answer is YES, eat that apple to nourish your physical hunger. If the answer is NO, then you’re not really hungry. The hunger you are experiencing is probably not a physical hunger, but instead an emotional hunger. At that moment, pick up the phone to make a call, get hold of a book – divert your mind, let the moment pass.
Some tools to rescue you from these helpless moments,
1. Meditation – 15 minutes of regular meditation will calm you down and curb bingeing.
2. Exercise – a 30 minute thrice week work out will not only take care of your physical health but also your emotional well-being.
3. Pick up a hobby. It’s never too late to pursue a hobby. Young adults must take up a sport as an extracurricular activity.
Do take the “apple test” and let me know how it helped you! Well, it doesn’t have to be an apple always, but make a healthy choice, a fruit or a vegetable that is low on sugar which will not tempt you to overeat.
Distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger is tough, but with practice, you will find it easier to find and eat so. This will help you to satisfy yourself both physically and emotionally with absolutely no fear of weight gain or guilt. Take the “Apple Test” to regain your health and shed that extra pound.