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Are You Hungry or Just Bored?

By Sara Butler

Eating is simply about getting the nutrition you need. For many, adults and children alike, eating serves as an emotional filler. If you feel hungry all the time, it’s important to understand if you’re eating in response to true feelings of hunger or if it’s in response to your own emotions and feelings. Here are some tips to help you get a handle on what may really be behind your hunger.

Hunger Triggers

If you’re eating three well-balanced meals and a couple of healthy snacks per day but still feel hungry, there may be other reasons for your motivation to eat. In time such as this, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you reach for food when you're frustrated, stressed, bored, happy, sad, or lonely?
  • Do you eat at a time other than regular meal and snack times?
  • Do you find yourself mindless munching?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?

Alternatives for Health

If you think you’re eating for reasons other than hunger, then you have to steer yourself away from it. Distract yourself with an activity or:

  • Have regular meals – If you’re not having three meals per day and snack, make sure you do. Not getting enough food to support your health can make you hungry between meals and less likely to make healthy choices when hunger does strike.
  • Choose something else – If you feel hungry but know that you shouldn’t, then try going for a walk, playing a game, dancing, listening to music, or otherwise occupying yourself.
  • Have healthy snacks around – It is legitimate for you to get hungry between well-balanced meals that’s not a result of boredom or another emotion. That’s why it’s important to keep healthy snacks on hand such as fruit, vegetables, and nuts.
  • Drink water – Sometimes the feeling of hunger are triggered by dehydration, so make sure you’re getting enough water to stay hydrated. If you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water and waiting a few minutes to assess whether it was hunger or thirst.

It can be a challenge to understand whether or not you’re eating because you’re hungry or due to another emotion. Your relationship with food goes way back, so it can be difficult to break bad habits. But with a little mindfulness, it’s certainly possible to identify and change your eating habits for your continued health and wellness.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Katy, Tex.

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