Hunger part 2

Hunger part 2

Last week I went over the physical sensations of hunger, this week I’ll talk about the emotions of hunger.

I see you…rolling your eyes at the mere idea of talking about emotions/feelings and how it could possibly be related to Weight Loss!!  Stay with me though.  This is really important.  

In the following paragraphs I will use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably. 

How we FEEL will determine the ACTIONS we take. 

This is really good to know because if we want to change our actions (ie. overeating, overdrinking, overspending, etc.) we will need to become aware of how we are feeling. 

So, where do our feelings come from anyways?

I want you to stop for a second and really try to think about this.  Why do we feel motivated? Stressed? Sad? Happy? Committed? Valuable?

Feelings come from our thoughts.

What??  This was news to me. 

Ok, so back to hunger…the emotional kind.

Remember, there is also the sensation of hunger.  That starts in your body and travels to your brain….thanks to hormones.

Emotional hunger starts in the brain and travels to your body.  

It might sound like this “ooh, that strawberry pie looks really good”.   Now you are feeling desire.  What type of action does desire produce? Usually the action of eating the pie.  Even if you are not feeling the sensation of hunger.  

When we are constantly thinking about food, watching cooking shows, reading food blogs, or trolling Pinterest for new and amazing recipes this makes us feel desire, excitement, anticipation, and wanting of food.  Next thing we know, we are eating…grabbing a snack.

Ever notice that you eat when you are bored?  We are not really hungry, we are just looking for something to do, or are avoiding something. 

This my friend, is emotional eating.

We have never learned or been taught how to deal with negative emotions.  Many of us think that if we feel negative emotion, something has gone wrong.  We are doing something wrong.  There must be negative emotion so we can notice the contrast of positive emotion.

Our primitive brains like to deal with negative emotion by using things outside of us to feel better.  I call this buffering.  We use food, usually highly processed foods that contain sugar and flour or alcohol to feel better.  How does this make us feel better?  

It is a distraction from how we are currently feeling.  And, we get a hit of dopamine.  So, our primitive brain creates a neural pathway for this behavior and we repeat it over and over and over.  Soon, it becomes so ingrained that it feels automatic.

But, the truth is, it only makes us feel better temporarily.   And the cycle continues. 

So, what is the solution?

Learn to experience negative emotions with out using food or alcohol.

Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you that this feels amazing.  It doesn’t.  It feels like ass.

It gets easier over time, but negative emotion will still continue to show up and that’s ok.  We need to experience negative so we can feel how great the positive is.

I teach my clients how to experience negative emotions.

  • We allow urges and not give in to them.  
  • We name the negative emotions. 
  • We learn to identify where we feel them in our body.  
  • We practice feeling instead of avoiding, resisting and reacting to negative emotion.

Imagine if you stopped using food and alcohol to feel better.  

This is part of the journey to permeant weight loss.

If you would like me to help guide you, please click on the blue “Learn More” button below.  This will take you to my booking calendar where you can schedule and FREE call with me to learn what I have to offer.  I promise I won’t be all weird and salesy.  I have been where you are, and I want to help as many people as I can without any gimmicks or quick fixes.

Have a safe week!

xo.  Valerie