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Surprising Science

Avoid Impulse Eating By Feeding Your Emotional Hunger

The urge to eat when you’re not hungry can be a crutch that prevents you from addressing a mental or emotional affliction. Find out the cause of your real hunger and leave the pumpkin pie in the fridge.

We’ve all been here:

Lunch was only an hour ago but you’re standing over a piece of chocolate cake analyzing the most efficient way to transfer it from plate to stomach. You’re not even hungry but the urge to consume that thing overpowers any feeble bits of logic your brain can launch in opposition. You know you shouldn’t eat it. You’re totally going to regret it later. But you just can’t help it.

Why do we eat when we’re not hungry? According to Dr. Suzanne Gelb, it’s to temper a different sort of hunger, be it emotional, mental, or spiritual. The key to overcoming our urges is to identify the causes of our real hunger and enact solutions to erase them. Impulse eating is a band-aid solution. Introspection is the antibiotic.

Gelb’s suggested strategy is to make a list of all the things you’re really hungry for. It could be adventure or a relationship or a new job. Formulate strategies for how you’re going to satisfy these hungers. Compose this list every time you have the unhealthy urge to eat and refocus yourself toward finding solutions. Just remember that giving in to the cake won’t solve your problems.

Gelb offers some additional strategies in her article (linked again below) for fighting impulse eating. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Read more at Psych Central

Photo credit: Stokkete / Shutterstock


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