Sunday, March 30, 2014

Telling the difference between head hunger and real hunger


Seriously, what's the deal with head hunger and why is it so cruel?  I feel like I'm starving and, trust me, there is no way I'm starving right now.  I had a very filling dinner with plenty of protein and fiber in my pork and broccoli.  Yet, I have that feeling in my tummy like I need to go into the kitchen and find something to eat.  Then I wonder, is it really my tummy telling me that or my head?

Head/emotional hunger is such a strange phenomenon.  It has the ability to absolutely convince a person they need to go in search of food.  Right now.  Immediately.  No stopping at go and collecting $200 ... just a straight shot.  There are a couple of things I'm doing to combat that.

  1. I have been drinking a lot of water or Crystal Light.  The fluids help me to feel fuller and really gauge if there is a rumble in my tummy for nutrients or because I somehow have a brain that says I'm supposed to do that because I've always done that.
  2. I'm tracking all of my food using MyFitnessPal.  If you're not using something to track your intake, I would highly suggest that app.  Not only does it keep me accountable, but I have a great circle of friends there that help keep me honest.  Anyone can go in and see what I have eaten, how much I've had to drink and exercise I'm doing (or not doing).   My screen name is MissKathyJean if you would like to find me over there.
  3. Coming onto this blog and talking about where I'm at with wanting food.  Part of my transparency includes saying when I'm having these moments.
I know that a lot of behavior modification will have to take place in my life so that I stop going to the old way I have always done things.  The idea that it takes only 21 days to break a habit or start a  new one, at least to me, is completely false.  Sure, in some things that may work just fine.  However, when it comes to food and the desire to eat even when I'm not hungry, I have a feeling this will be a long journey.  In fact, I may never cross the finish line.  From what I can see based on others that have already had their weight loss surgeries, it is something they still continue to battle.  How do I go from wanting food when I'm bored, angry, tired, stressed or any of those emotions that have caused me to go to food in the past?  I dream of being able to have food just for nutrition and not to solve some sort of problem.  Dare to dream, right?

How do you handle head hunger?  If you don't happen to have that problem, congrats!  But for others, do you have strategies that you have used to get through a moment without succumbing?  

Water Challenge Day 67:  Drank 193 of 179 ounces

4 comments:

Caitlin R said...

I'm the same as you - lots of water, sparkling water and herbal tea for me to make sure I'm really not hungry! That, and distraction. Some friends of mine on my Optifast forums have taken up knitting, scrapbooking, crochet etc to do in front of the TV when the cravings kick in. Hands and mind being busy can help those cravings pass!

happyinca said...

This is a tricky one isn't it, because it feels so real. Drinking liquids and removing myself from sources of food has worked for me also. I didn't even know about his phenomenon until you posted about it a couple of months ago!

Tamzin said...

it was the reason that I was so overweight before. Once the sleeve is in - I didn't fe yhugr fo ... 4 months. It was glorious glorious freedom.

I still get that head hunger now too. But I often look at the time - or the MFP ap and let it ride. I often will have something crunchy if I can't shake it. carrots, celery that sort of thing.

You are doing the right things, its a battle, its a journey, you can't win all the time... but your are on the right track.

Kathy said...

I appreciate the feedback everyone and tips on what you do. If anything, it's so helpful to know that I'm not alone in all of this. It's such a strange phenomenon to have the head hunger, but the best I can do is try to walk through it each time.

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