How to Identify True Hunger ("I'm Not Hungry But I'm Going to Eat This Anyway.")

sticks of celery quartered on a table

I like to eat.

Yep. It's true. I like to eat. I often put food in my mouth because it's tasty and not because I'm hungry. I've tried to hedge my habit by requiring myself to say, out loud, "I'm not hungry but I'm going to eat this anyway!" and it works (most of the time).

Still I knew if I was going to get real control over my voracious appetite, and emotionally eat less, I had to learn how to identify true hunger.

Some people describe true hunger as a sensation in their chest -- me? I take a much simpler approach. If I was truly hungry, any healthy food would sound delicious to me and I'd eat it. If I'm foraging through the fridge and cabinets, passing up lots of healthy food, I know I'm not really hungry and something else is going on.

When I was at a health conferences a few months ago they gave everyone an apple in their "goodie bag." The point was, if you were really hungry, you'd eat the apple. If you're not hungry enough to eat the apple, you're not hungry. It's that simple.

I keep a stick of celery at the front of my fridge so I literally have to push my hand by it to get something else. This keeps me in line and also means I'm eating a lot more celery!

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