Should I Eat It?
That’s a tough question, whether you’re talking about cake or…a carrot.
So often we choose food for reasons other than pure physical hunger (duh). But how can we tell if we’re hungry, or if we need to find nourishment elsewhere?
Here are 5 questions I ask myself when in doubt:
1. Am I hungry? Of course that should be the first question. I rate my hunger on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ravenous and 10 being so stuffed my jeans button popped off. If I’m below a 5, it’s physical hunger and I eat.
2. Do almonds or turkey sound good? If I’m not sure if I’m hungry, I ask myself if I’m in the mood for some high-protein snack like almonds or turkey. If I want them, then it’s a sign I’m hungry. If they don’t sound good, the sensation I’m experiencing is more likely a craving (But then I have to decide if I want to give into the craving. That’s another story)
3. Am I thirsty? You’ve heard this one before…quite often we confuse thirst and hunger. I make sure to keep myself hydrated throughout the day.
4. What are you feeling? Tired, bored, frustrated, angry, giddy, anxious, nervous? Try to pinpoint your state of being to make a better food choice.
5. What do I NEED right now? This is the most important question by far. I’ve learned to ask myself what I need before diving into the cookie jar. So often we mistake the fleeting comfort from food with something else we might need. Do you need a hug, to connect with a friend, a bath, exercise, stop procrastinating and get work done, take a nap, to dance around buck nekkid in your home? Whatever it is, ask yourself if food will fill this empty space. If the answer is NO, then ditch the food and fill yourself up some other way.
If after asking yourself these 5 questions the answer is still “Gimme cookie,” then by all means, enjoy the cookie with gusto. But at least you know that you’re eating the cookie because you’re hungry and not for any other reason.