Why do you eat?
For most of us, if we ate solely based on our bodies’ needs and actual hunger, we would be our ideal weight. However, we eat for many reasons, beyond hunger. Emotional eating is eating in a way to feed our emotions, not our physiological needs. During this stressful time where we are trapped at home, it's almost inevitable that we will experience emotional eating at least once. It often leads us to eat too much, to eat unhealthy foods, and can lead to a very unhealthy relationship with food. Just because you sometimes eat emotionally, doesn’t mean you are an ‘emotional eater’.
To help gain & keep control of our eating habits, it is essential to identify what you are experiencing. Are you eating because you are bored? Or stressed? Or are you thirsty?
Sometimes a quick reflection will give us the answer, other times it is not so simple.
Use the tools below to help identify what your body is trying to tell you so that you can make a food choice you won't regret later!
TWO MAIN TYPES OF HUNGER
For each question below, check the appropriate box
1 = Never or almost never
2 = Sometimes, less than once per week
3 = Often, a few times per week
4 = Almost always or almost every day
WHAT KIND OF HUNGRY ARE YOU?
Now add up the number of checks for each column, multiply that number by the score and tally up the last column to find your score.
Are you an emotional eater?
20-40 Points: Emotional eating is not a big issue for you. You tend to eat according to hunger or habit.
41-60 Points: You sometimes or often eat emotionally. Try to be more mindful of how you feel when you’re eating, why you make certain choices, and how you could make better choices.
61-80 Points: You often or always eat emotionally. Complete the “Emotional Eating Inventory” and spend this week addressing your emotions and relationship with food.
Regardless of where you are on the scale above, practicing mindful eating can be beneficial to our emotional and physical health!
How to address emotional eating and mindfulness:
Step 1: Identify your triggers and raise awareness
Step 2: Find other ways to feed your feelings
Step 3: Pause when a craving hits (and it will)
Am I Hungry?: www.amihungry.com; Ellyn Satter Institute: www.ellynsatterinstitute.org; Intuitive Eating: www.intuitiveeating.org; The Center For Mindful Eating: www.tcme.org; Health At Every Size (HAES): www.lindabacon.org
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