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Why we eat when we're not hungry

Many people have the nutritional goal of only eating when they're hungry and never turning to food for any other reason.

Well you and I both know this isn't as realistic as one might hope. The truth is, many of us, especially in the beginning of our conscious eating journey, might employ food to do a different job (or many different jobs) than satisfy physical hunger.

This can feel stressful for people that are trying to get their eating "in order" or trying to feel confident and empowered about their eating habits.

But there are many reasons people eat when they're not hungry! Here's a handful:

  • They're not actually enjoying their regular meals

  • Fatigue/Boredom

  • Overwhelm, pressure, or stress

  • As a panic response when flooded by a painful emotion (shame, worthlessness, helplessness)

  • As a mini "vacation" from grinding away at a task

  • Curiosity to taste of try something

  • Other people are eating

  • To ground their energy

  • To transition from one part of the day to another

  • Novelty or entertainment

Examined closely enough, our eating habits always make sense. Many of us are simply trying to meet our needs, whether conscious of it or not. Things tend to move in a healing direction when we realize, for example, “I’m actually tired” and rest for a while instead of eating food and pushing through. Or a person learns how to be more available and caring for their true feelings and emotions than stuffing them down. Or a person who continually reaches for sugar, learns how to actually set up eating in a way that is legitimately satisfying.

“The symptom holds the cure” is a popular saying in depth psychology. There’s real truth in this. It seems somewhere inside the unwanted habit is also a seed of potential.


Let's practice together! LAST CALL!

We begin in a week, on Sunday, July 9th! My 3-week experiential program, Eating to the Point of Energy, is designed to create a loving container to practice cultivating empowering eating skills that allow for a lightness of body and nice energized and satisfied feeling. There's a little more than meets the eye (given what I shared above) but we address it all. Classes are recorded for those that cannot attend live. $75 for the series. Remember those that develop empowering skills around eating, practice those skills! I hope you can join me. Register here

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