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How to Stop Emotional Eating -The 5 Common Reasons You Are Always Hungry

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Do you ever notice how stress and emotional eating can sabotage your weight loss goals? Your appetite can be controlled by many things, from how much you are eating, to your hormone levels, physical activity, and so much more. If you find that you are constantly hungry, where after a filling meal, you feel “starving” after an hour or so, it might be time to look at the possible reasons.

Digital Bathroom Scale Displaying OMG Message from emotional eating


Increase in Sugar and Junk Food Cravings

Refined carbohydrates include foods without much nutrients but that are loaded with carbs and sugar, such as cookies and cakes, candy, white pasta or white rice, chips, and sugary breakfast cereals. You aren’t getting many vitamins and minerals with these types of foods. They might fill you up in the short-term, but long-term you are getting hungrier and continuing to crave them the more you eat them.

There is also a strong correlation between the types of foods you crave when you are stressed. If you are constantly craving sugar, carbs, or fried foods when you are “starving” in between meals, it is probably more from your stress and not actual hunger. Otherwise, eating a salad or healthy dinner would satiate your hunger. When you don’t feel satisfied after eating something healthy, the hunger is more likely from how you feel mentally or emotionally. This can also be true of other foods that are comfort foods for you, even if it’s not necessarily sugar and carbs.

Food freedom is feeling in control of the food that you eat instead of the food controlling you.

You Are Not Getting Enough Protein

While protein alone won’t suppress your appetite, it does have an impact on how hungry you are. If you find that shortly after a meal, you are hungry very soon after, or that you get hungry pretty much all day long, you probably don’t eat enough protein. Look at your meals and figure out how much protein you are consuming. The amount you need is different for everyone, but if you rarely have much protein, and instead eat a lot of refined carbs and sugars, it is time to have more balanced meals.

Stress Can Affect Your Hunger

If you have heard of the term “Stress eating”, then this will probably come as no surprise to you. Many people have discovered that when they are under a lot of emotional stress, they don’t lose their appetite like some, but actually get a bigger appetite and more cravings. Typically, you aren’t actually hungrier, but you feel like you want to eat to help soothe the stress.

stop emotional eating

Stress eating and emotional  overeating are very closely linked. This is when you are feeling down, sad, upset, stressed, or depressed, and you want instant gratification. Stress hormones can actually make you feel like you are hungry because you know eating something will provide short-term relief. This is the same way emotional eating works. You want a quick fix, so you think about how food will help, and then over time, every time you are stressed, you suddenly feel hungry. Except most of the time, it is not true hunger from not eating enough. It is related to your stress levels.

You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Believe it or not, your sleep doesn’t just affect your energy levels throughout the day, but can actually cause you to have a bigger appetite and gain weight. Sleep also affects your stress levels, which can have an impact on your appetite. When you start struggling to sleep, it is vital that you do everything you can to sleep better. It really does affect everything in your life, including your health and wellness. Try to switch up your diet, go to sleep earlier, take a nap during the day for added rest, or get a new mattress if yours is making it difficult to sleep. Remove distractions, like your cell phone, when you are trying to sleep.

You Are Eating While Distracted

This is a very common pitfall that people don’t realize is a problem. Do you find that whenever you eat, you are in front of a TV or using your cell phone? This is causing a distraction where you are eating mindlessly and not focusing on your food. You turn food into something you do no matter what activity you are doing, which is confusing for your hunger cues. Start eating without watching or listening to anything, preferably at the kitchen table.

How to Stop Emotional Eating, Manage Stress and Hunger

Once you figure out that all your extra hunger is from stress or emotional eating and not from your appetite itself, you know it is time to manage your stress levels. This in turn will help to balance out your appetite and give you more realistic hunger cues.

Find the source of your stress that triggers your emotional eating first. This can be any combination of things, from financial and work stress, relationship or family stress, or just daily stress from a busy and hectic lifestyle. See if you can switch things up to reduce the main source of your stress. If it’s impossible to avoid, look for ways to relax at the end of the day to reduce some of that stress instead of just continuing to pile it on.

stop emotional eating

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