Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why do we eat when we're not hungry?

Why do we eat when we're not hungry?
Our expert explains why we stuff our faces in certain situations...
Not hungry, yet still yanking open the fridge every 30 seconds to see if any food has magically materialised? This article is for you. According to Dr Elizabeth Celi, psychologist and former personal trainer, we ladies crave food for a multitude of reasons. Apart from actual physical hunger, Celi details the common scenarios that trigger our bad snacking habits. Read on to see how you can start viewing food as fuel rather than therapy.
Scenario #1:

You eat when you’re stressedWhy you do it: “Eating can be like an escape. It directs your attention away from a stressful issue and onto the food in front of you,” says Celi.

Scenario #2:

You eat when you’re boredWhy you do it: “Do you eat to pass the time? Replace snacking-while-you’re-waiting with another activity you like,” says Celi. “Break up tasks you find dull into small chunks, and give yourself non-food rewards for completing them.”

Scenario #3:

You eat when you’re unhappy Why you do it: “When self-esteem is low, eating can feel comforting. Food becomes an easy replacement for proper emotional comfort because it’s so accessible,” says Celi.

Scenario #4:

You eat when you’re tired Why you do it: “When you’re fatigued, your defences are down and you can lose the discipline to avoid junk food.”

Scenario #5:

You eat for the wrong reasonsWhy you do it: “Many people eat when they feel cold, when putting on a jumper would be just as effective! Dehydration and nutritional deficiencies can also be mistaken for hunger, so make sure you’re having enough water and balanced meals,” advises Celi.

Tricks to kick the habit•

Before you commence a pigout, ask yourself, “What am I really hungry for?”. The answer might be sleep, comfort, or warmth.

Recognise that food can’t satiate these things.•

If you’re still hungry after a meal, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still peckish, have a piece of fruit, another glass of water, and wait another 10 minutes. Still craving stuff? Fix yourself a proper nutritious meal with vegies, protein and complex carbohydrates.

• Eat slowly and really appreciate your food.

Don’t keep “danger foods” in the house. If it comes out of a packet, it’s probably not your friend.

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