On a Fast Day and even on a Slow Day, there are times that we get hungry. But are you REALLY hungry? The body sends all sorts of conflicting messages to the brain and the brain responds in very simple ways: eating or vomiting are some of the common reactions. Is your ‘hunger’ actually due to a lack of food, or is it caused by something else? Here is a list of ‘something else’ which might lead you to eat when you really don’t need to and shouldn’t.
a.”I’m not hungry, I’m thirsty.” This is a big one. Most of the time if you feel hungry, go get a glass of water. Ice water is even better, in my opinion. If you like sparkling water, that’s fine — but not flavored water or sports drinks.
b.”I’m not hungry, I’m annoyed.” So, what is annoying you? Solve it and in so doing, the hunger disappears.
c. I’m not hungry, I’m sad.” Go chat with a friend. Call someone you like. Speak with a stranger on the plane. Don’t kvetch about feeling sad, just talk with someone about anything. But don’t eat when you are sad — it creates bad habits.
d. “I’m not hungry, I’m bored.” This happened to me yesterday. I was wandering around the house thinking about what to snack on. I said aloud, “I’m not hungry, I’m………bored!” So I put on my jacket and went out to weed the herb garden. It worked!
e. “I’m not hungry, I’m anxious/depressed.” Back to ‘c’ and ‘a’. Being thirsty can make you feel depressed. So drink some water or tea. Anxiety is like sadness or being annoyed. Sit down with a comforting cup of tea, chamomile might be good, and work out the problem. Set the timer for 60-90 minutes and think about solving your problems instead of thinking about eating. Then open up to a close friend who will lend a sympathetic ear. But don’t eat, just because you are anxious.
f. I read this somewhere. Wish I knew who said this! “If hunger is not the problem, the food is not the answer.” SO true.
g. “I’m not hungry, I have gas” I used to get gas in my stomach [the actual organ, not the abdominal region] and it felt just like hunger. So I’d eat more and feel even more miserable. Solve the gas, solve that ‘hunger’ feeling.