Personal Trainer tip: Is your hunger physical or emotional?


Do you find yourself munching on snacks when you’re stressed out? Reaching for high sugar foods and drinks when you’ve had rough day? Or looking for a foodie pick me up when you’re bored?

We called this emotional eating. When we’re genuinely hungry we release a hormone called Ghrelin and this is a signal to eat. To positively influence this hormone, be mindful by understanding the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

Physical builds gradually; emotional develops suddenly.

Physical strikes below the neck (i.e. growling stomach), and emotional occurs above the neck

(i.e. a taste for ice cream).

Physical occurs 3+ hours after a meal; emotional occurs at random times.

Physical can be temporarily offset by drinking water; emotional still persists after

drinking a glass water.

Physical goes away when full; emotional still persists after plenty has already been eaten.

Physical is satisfied with food; emotional leads to guilt after eating food.

Physical can be suppressed with stress; emotional is activated with stress.

Physical enhances taste; emotional does not.

So when you’re reaching for your next meal or snack, check in with yourself, is it physical

or emotional? If it’s emotional, remind yourself that food will not fix your emotions, but a good

chat with your best friend or a nice long walk might just do the trick.

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