Are you someone who ALWAYS thinks about food? Does the mere thought of a diet make you hungry?
Hunger and eating may not be as straight forward as it should be. Dieting, ‘metabolism boosting’ methods, fasting and all kinds of eating patterns have the potential to distort your hunger cues and affect your waist line.
If you think you are eating too often, or if your mind swings to food, food, and food far too often for your liking, read our tips below.
However, don’t be silly, we all need to eat. Use the below tips wisely, and of course, choose your fuel wisely.
- Why are you hungry?
Have you thought about the timing of your cravings? Most people find that they are craving something sweet or indulgent mid-morning, mid-afternoon or before bed. Putting aside all biological and neurological reasons, these times are typically times that you are simply ‘tired’. Is it time to take a break? (and no, I don’t mean a kitkat). Go for a short walk, get some fresh air, close your eyes and recharge your batteries. Skip the sugar fix and get a shot of nature to boost your energy.
- Drink water
Are you hungry? Or are you thirsty? Have a glass of water, wait 5-10 minutes, then see if you are still looking for food. Our easy access to high calorie foods, coupled with our go-go lifestyles has researchers questioning the predictive power of our appetite and thirst sensations(1). It seems that our cues have become blurred, or worse, absent, due to our often glutenous or well-intentioned habits. Take a moment to identify your cues.
- Take up a hobby
Ever heard of the saying “I was so busy I forgot to eat”? Ever heard of ‘boredom eating’? Take up a hobby and aim for some where in between busy and bored. Try gardening, knitting, painting, reading, sewing or something that interests you enough to keep you happy, yet distracted.
- Tackle a problem or finish those chores
Be proactive and get to your to-do list. It may not be as fun as a new hobby, but it sure feels nice to tackle those jobs and see the finished result. Redirect your excessive food thoughts into productive positive action.
- Slather your hands in moisturiser
Get nice soft hands AND be unable to touch food or hold a fork. Win-win. By the time your moisturiser sinks in your hunger should have passed. If it hasn’t, it’s probably time to eat.
- Call a friend
Get your mouth talking instead of eating. Catch up with a friend or family member, stay social, and stay on track at the same time. Call 1 friend, or call 5 friends, what is needed to change gears and distract yourself.
- Nut it out
Actually create a visual board of the outfits you want to fit into, the goals you want to achieve, the healthy habits you want to start. Write down (actually write it down) why you are on this journey, and pull out this reminder any time you are struggling.
- Play some music. Loud.
Play some music and shake that booty. Dance like no one is watching and sing like no one can hear you. Not sure how to dance? Just look up the music video of your favourite song and try to copy (or maybe make it up yourself). The rush of bliss that comes with singing and dancing to your favourite song is a very understated distraction/mood enhancer/weight loss tool etc. Try it.
If the above doesn’t work, try brushing your teeth. Most people don’t eat straight after brushing their teeth (due to timing, or taste changes). Use this to your advantage and kick that craving with toothpaste.
Don’t forget, our food is our fuel. We do not suggest you eat less than what your body needs. We need food to survive, just be sensible.
1. McKiernan F, Hollis JH, McCabe GP, Mattes RD. Thirst-drinking, hunger-eating; tight coupling? Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009;109(3):486-90.