For the few nights a week our family is not running around between soccer practice, volleyball practice or dance class, we do get to sit down and enjoy a “family show” (as my girls call it) after dinner. Some of their favorites include “Goldberg’s”, “Survivor”, “Fresh Off the Boat”, and “Little Big Shots”. It never fails that during this family time someone is already digging through the pantry for a snack or treat before one show is even over. My infamous question… “How can you possibly be hungry after we just ate?” Do you know when you are REALLY hungry? When you are ready to tackle the lifestyle change of losing weight, it is important to not only learn how to recognize physical hunger, but also distinguish it from emotional hunger. So, let’s define the difference: Physical hunger is your body’s way of gradually telling you it needs fuel. It is no secret that our body needs protein, fats and carbohydrates along with water to survive. Those grumbles we get in our stomachs, pangs that won’t go away until we eat something – that is physical hunger happening in our tummies. It is our body’s way of saying “FEED ME!” Emotional hunger (or commonly referred to as emotional eating) is the hunger that comes on suddenly in order to relieve an issue or feeling we’re having. It is the hunger that is directly related to our mood and the type of craving we can’t get out of our head. Many of us experience this when we’re feeling stressed, bored, tired, sad, and/or lonely to name a few. This is the type of eating that happens when you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips or finished off a pan of brownies, and when it’s gone you can’t believe you just ate all of that! You really weren’t even aware that you were eating so much. You were eating strictly to gain some sort of pleasure from that particular food. So, what happens if you are think that you are hungry, but you’re not sure if it’s physical hunger? First, ask yourself the question, “Have I eaten in the last 2-3 hours?” If the answer is “No,” then look for a convenient lean protein, nuts, veggies and/or fruit that you can snack on soon to avoid getting "hangry". I know you know what I'm talking about, right? If the answer is “Yes,” then try one of the strategies below: 1. Drink Water – Dehydration and thirst can be easily mistaken for hunger. 2. Get Moving – Go for a walk or turn on some music and dance. 3. Call a Friend – Call your go-to friend or family member who always makes you feel better. 4. Chew Gum – This seems a little silly, but works every time. Great distraction. 5. Do Something Relaxing – Take a hot bath or curl up with a good book. 6. Do Something Productive – I personally like to organize something, but the point here is to get up (and away from the fridge/pantry) and focus on something else rather than eating. Emotional eating can sabotage your weight loss efforts if you are not aware of the difference between the two types of eating. Practice mindful eating and pay attention to not only how you’re feeling, but what is causing the feeling when your hunger cues show up. I leave you with some simple Eating Guidelines from a woman who has mastered the art of eating more consciously. THE EATING GUIDELINES
― Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything 1. Eat when you are hungry. 2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car. 3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music. 4. Eat what your body wants. 5. Eat until you are satisfied. 6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others. 7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure. Let’s get FIRED UPP, Nat P.S. Last chance to get my birthday rate for a popular program! I only have 2 spots left for a couple of amazing women looking to lose 1-2 pant sizes by summer with $21 OFF my Fit, Fueled & Fired Upp: 90-Day Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint. This is a guided, self-paced program for MOMS that want to tone up and feel ALIVE again without taking a lot of time out of their busy schedule. I’ll explain step-by-step exactly what to do to feel healthier and better about yourself, not just now, but for the rest of your life. I’m only keeping the deal open until March 31st! Don't miss out!