The “Official” Test for Hunger
To test if you are truly hungry, eat an apple.
If your internal reply to this is, “I don’t want a stupid apple,” then how about unsweetened applesauce or a pear? Still, “no?” Guess what, you aren’t really hungry, and you are about to feed something else! What are you really trying to feed and can it be satisfied with food?
Cravings are not the same as hunger. Sometimes cravings result from a particular nutrient lacking in your body and sometimes they are a spin-off of emotions. For example: when my body is low on magnesium, I crave sugary sweets. So much, in fact, I will discard the comfort of my pajamas at 11 pm and drive to the store for a “fix.” Having identified the trigger to my cravings, I put the real fix in place. I keep a container of magnesium in my pantry and add a spoonful to a tall glass of water before I even consider leaving the comfort of my home.
Before you give into a craving, determine if there is an easy to identify the trigger. If you can’t seem to identify anything at that moment, try a tall glass of water and have an apple before proceeding to the item you crave.
If you eat because you are happy, sad, excited, celebrating, depressed, had a bad day a work, are angry at your boss, broke up with your boyfriend … you’re eating to feed your emotions. Your body would never ask you to beat it up because you had a bad day. Emotional eating is like kicking yourself when you are down and punishing yourself when you do something good. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it? Keep healthy, nutritional snacks handy and available for these times. Before you grab for something with little or no nutritional value or are determined to bludgeon yourself to death with a plate of <insert favorite too much food>, have an apple.
The Crap is Everywhere
Crap is any low to no nutrient value food or food-like substance.
Anywhere you drive, there are fast food restaurants flaunting, “you deserve it,” and, “this will make you happy” messages, as they pump delicious smells into the air, sending your taste buds into a tizzy. They pull your senses and quite possibly the steering wheel of your car, right into their drive-thru. Could this be what is driving your “hunger?” I mean, your mouth is watering at the thought of that cheesy bacon burger and fries isn’t it? You have to ask, “Do I want an apple?” (Perhaps keep a few in the car, in case your answer is, “Yes!”)
There is also a lot of crap at most grocery stores. Look around your favorite grocery store and determine the percentage of healthy food to crap. You might find the amount of junk food scattered throughout the store a little overwhelming. You will find crap strategically positioned. For example, the candy bars aren’t at the checkout because you forgot to pick them up on aisle 12. They are at the checkout, because you may be tired, cranky, and very done with shopping by the time you get to the checkout. Surely, you deserve one. Hopefully, you paused in aisle 1 and bought an apple instead.