Are you a fan of the novel and movie “The Hunger Games”? That fictional series is set in an area with 12 districts in varying states of poverty, with people regularly dying from starvation. Each year there are events or games where the participants fight to the death. The winner is awarded with food, supplies, and riches.
While that series depicts the physical struggles of hunger, let me first clarify that when I’m talking about playing your version, I’m not talking about undergoing top-secret weapons training to learn to “kill” off your colleagues or friends! I’m talking about a simple, helpful game that you can play even if you are by yourself at home or in a busy restaurant!
Let’s start by talking about the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Do you know the difference?
Emotional hunger versus physical hunger
Emotional hunger means you turn to food either to avoid uncomfortable emotions or to heighten pleasurable ones. It means you eat based on how you feel instead of what your body needs.
Examples of emotional hunger (FEELINGS)
● Eating for comfort or out of loneliness or sadness
● Eating from boredom
● Eating to try to soothe anxious or depressed feelings
● Eating to fill an aching heart
Physical hunger means you eat when your body signals to you that you are in fact, hungry. And it means that you stop eating when you are satisfied and before you are uncomfortably full.
Examples of physical hunger (SENSATIONS):
● Stomach growls and gets that hollow hungry sensation
● Body feels weak and energy goes down
● Blood sugar gets low and you feel shaky
● You feel light-headed or faint
So what will learning to listen to my body do for me?
It will free you from being a slave to food!
What that means for you is that you’ll feel more in control of your eating and less dependent on food to “help” your moods and emotions.
By listening to your physical hunger signals, you can determine how hungry or full you really are. With practice, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your body is at any given moment.
By doing so, you will train yourself to stop eating BEFORE you are too full and to not turn to food when you are not actually hungry. You may really just be bored, upset, anxious or depressed.
Because everyone knows that’s a vicious cycle… so let me show you how to end that cycle and have some fun while doing it! Enter… the Hunger Game!
How do I play the Hunger Game?
Here’s how you play your own Hunger Game:
● See if you can be the slowest eater at the table — no one has to know you’re playing or that you’re trying to win the Hunger Game
● Periodically check in with yourself throughout your meal and honor when you’re energized and satiated by completing the meal
● Use an end-of-meal ritual, like putting your napkin over your plate or ordering hot tea and fresh fruit to symbolize completion of the meal
There are even more tips that I share with clients, so we come up with a plan so you keep identifying the difference. When you become more aware of your own Hunger Game, it then becomes so much easier to double your energy, drop those stubborn extra pounds, or help heal your own digestive issues.
If you recognize that you may be doing some emotional eating, but you aren’t sure how to change it, contact me. You can stop playing the destructive game and really learn how to feel great again!