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4 Steps That'll stop You Eating When You're Not Actually Hungry

Do you ever down a snack food and feel absolutely no pleasure afterward? Or find yourself wanting to take in whilst looking away from into room at the job? Then there's a good chance that you've enjoyed for a explanation apart from your whole body needing nourishment. "Food cravings is the body's energy evaluate," states Michelle Could, M.D., article writer of Consume The Things You Love, Adore Everything You Eat and creator from the Am I Hungry? Mindful Consuming Plan. Before you eat, "The trick is to pay attention to the signals for hunger. It's like checking your fuel gauge before getting off the highway for gas." Here's May's move-by-step approach for performing just that:

Pause Before You Eat
"The key is awareness," says May. "When you feel like eating, always pause in that moment between wanting to eat and actually eating." This is where you'll figure out if you're hungry or just bored, tired, stressed, or thirsty. May says you shouldn't necessarily be eating every two or three hours like some experts suggest—only when you're truly hungry—but that you can check in every two or three hours if you're busy and often forget to eat until you're starving. "Letting your body get to the point of famished is also dangerous," she says. "Your blood sugar is super-low, and all balanced diet ideas and enjoyment goes out the window, so you may overeat." Set an alarm on your phone if necessary.

Check for Hunger Cues
May recommends placing your fist over your stomach, right below the breastbone, and checking for signals of true hunger. "Draw all attention to that area," says May. "You should look for physical symptoms like pangs, growling, and feelings of emptiness—or if the area feels full or stretched." If it's the former, you're probably truly hungry. If it's the latter, you're probably craving something other than food.

Do a Body-Mind-Heart Scan
May says you can look to three different areas to determine whether you need to eat or whether you just want to eat: "I recommend doing what I call a body-mind-heart scan," she says. For body, May says you should start scanning from head to toe and just notice the various sensations in your body. Often tension, like in the neck and shoulders, can signal anxiety or stress, not hunger. For mind, if your productivity is down and you find yourself wondering about what's in the break room or where you'll eat your next meal, you're probably not hungry, you might just be bored. For heart, listen to your emotions. Are you feeling tired from a late night out or stressed about a work deadline? Your anxiety might be provoking "head hunger," says May. "Do this before you start to eat," she says. "If you're not truly hungry, you'll start to eat and not feel satisfied [since you're not addressing the true root of the problem], causing you to eat more and more."

Address Your Needs (Beyond Food)
Before you nosh, if you're ever unsure whether you're truly hungry-and know you're not totally famished-try to address other issues. Step outside for a walk around the block to relieve stress, lie down for a 20-minute power nap if you're tired, or down a glass of water to try and eliminate lingering thirst. "You could possibly just need a couple of instances to re-middle," states Might. If, as soon as you do that, you feel like your craving for food has increased (given that you haven't enjoyed anything), you can be sure it's your hunger that needs to be handled-rather than a few other concern.

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