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Eating Urges - Techniques to Stop
When You Aren't Even Hungry
AM I REALLY HUNGRY? Really? Or, am I just responding to an urge to eat even though I'm not really hungry? Typically, we experience two kinds of hunger: body or stomach hunger and brain hunger. Body hunger is usually identified by the sound of our stomach growling. We may not have eaten for several hours and our stomach is telling us it needs fuel (food) to energize our body. It is time to eat.
Brain Hunger is eating to relieve or satisfy an urge or relieve a symptom like stress, boredom or a craving. It is usually triggered by events or cues in our surroundings that cause us to feel certain urges to eat when we aren't really even hungry and when our body does not need fuel (food). These triggers or events can be visual (something you see), sensory (something you smell), or some event that tugs at your brain urging you to eat even when you aren't even hungry like going to the mall, seeing the food court and smelling food. When you get these urges, it can be difficult not to cave into the urge. What can you do?
When you experience brain hunger, there are several things you can do to stop a bothersome urge to eat. It helps to first get in touch with your emotions. Pause...and acknowledge that you are experiencing an urge. Then, try some of these tips to avoid caving to the urges to eat:
1. URGE SURFINGUrge surfing is visualizing a bothersome urge to eat and letting it roll over you like a WAVE.
Pause...feel...and be aware of your urge. RELAX, and "SURF" your urge, but without acting on it. Take a RISK that you may be hungry or miss the comfort of the food, but that it will pass shortly and you'll be OKAY.
Breath in deeply...hold in for a couple seconds..., then, let your breath out. Most likely, the urge to eat has passed. The more you use this technique, the more it will work for you. Now, try distracting yourself with other things to keep the urge at bay. Think of this as a NEW WAY to combat food urges. You can do it!!
2. SQUEEZE YOUR HANDS TOGETHER TIGHT
Squeeze your hands together for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat 3-5 times. Your craving urge will pass the more you can distract yourself.
3. FOUL SMELLS
Smelling foul smells can help cancel out cravings. Things like smelly old socks and garbage can distract you from your urge. Yuck! You can also make a foul smell. Here's an example: Cut up some raw chicken and put it in a covered container. Let it sit out on the counter for a day or two. Then, pour off the chicken juice and put that in a small jar for several days. It will start to stink! Then, whenever you have an eating urge that you want to stop, pull out the jar and take a whiff. Yuck again! The eating urge should disappear. Sour milk also works.4. FOUL TASTES
Tasting foul tastes, while you look at a photo of your problem food or eat the foul tasting food, can help you resist a craving urge. Spicy and hot tasting foods like fiery hot sauce and hot chili peppers can also work. You can easily make foul tastes, such as spoiled milk or soapy water. Just put a little of the foul tasting material in a little container. While you are eating or thinking of the craved or problem food, take a small piece of the foul tasting food or drink and sip or eat some of it. You will begin to associate the craved food with the foul tasting food or drink and your desire for the craved food will start to go away. What you are doing is actually retraining your brain. WAY TO GO!
5. GROSS PICTURE
Looking at a photo of a gross thing, while you look at a photo of your craved problem food or while you are eating the craved food, can help you resist your craving urge for the food. Take a photo or photos of several gross things. When you have a craving urge, take a look at the gross pictures. They should help to stop you from wanting to eat the craved or problem food.
6. EXTREME OBESITY PICTURES
Viewing pictures of extremely obese people while you look at your craved or problem food or while eating that food can help you resist your craving urge. You can find several extreme obesity pictures on the internet. When you have a craving, take a look at the gross pictures. They should help to stop you from wanting to eat the craved or problem food.
7. GROSS VIDEOS
Viewing a gross video while you look at your craved or problem food or while eating that food can help you resist your cravings. You can find several gross videos on the Internet. When you have a craving urge, take a look at the gross video. The video should help to stop you from wanting to eat the craved or problem food.
8. PRACTICE TALKING TO YOUR BRAINTalk to your brain and reason with your emotional brain when you have a craving urge for a certain food. Tell yourself, "No emotional brain! No! I am not going to let you trick me!!" I do not need that food because I am not hungry. GO AWAY!!" Here are more ways to Curve Your Craving Urges by getting in touch with your emotions.
9. LEARN TO SUBSTITUTE OTHER ACTIVITIES FOR EATING
THINK BEFORE YOU EAT! Are you really hungry? If not, DON'T EAT. THINK DISTRACT as in distracting activities. Make a list of distracting activities you like to do and refer to the list when you get a craving. Learn to use distractions instead of food to cope with negative emotions. When you have an urge to eat when you aren't really hungry, substitute an activity on your list instead of eating. Usually, if you can resist for a few minutes, the craving will go away. TRY IT, YOU CAN DO IT.
10. GET JUNK FOOD OUT OF YOUR HOUSE! Out of site! Out of mind! Make your house problem food safe to help conquer craving urges. Getting the particular food or drink that you crave out of site will help a lot.
11. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE. When the urge to eat strikes, strike back. Talking with friends instead of caving to the urge is a much better plan.
Once you understand why you are reaching for food, you can learn to do something about it. You can overcome your craving urges. It just takes practice! YOU CAN DO IT!
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