Note: Am I Hungry? is a mindful eating program – learn more here or at www.AmIHungry.com.
In the Am I Hungry? program, we talk about the “little voices” that might try to convince us to eat even when we’re not hungry. I’ve been able to silence most of mine, but one challenging time is the evenings. Not every evening, but enough that I recently started paying more attention to see what was going on and give myself enough of a pause to respond in a way other than eating.
Little voice: You haven’t had much to eat during the day, so it’s okay for you to eat more tonight.
Response: I didn’t eat much because I wasn’t hungry, and if I’m still not hungry, how much or little I had earlier today isn’t a reason to eat.
Little voice: You’re have an activity in the evening and you don’t want to get hungry while you’re out.
Response: Being a little hungry won’t kill me, or if I’m worried about it, I can bring a snack.
Little voice: You ate this much last night and it was fine, so why not do it again?
Response: I was hungry last night, but I’m not tonight.
Little voice: You won’t be having dinner until later, and you don’t want to be ravenous when you start.
Response: If I’m not hungry now, and I eat, I won’t want anything at dinner. If I get hungry before then I’ll have a snack, but right now I don’t need it.
Little voice: You already had this meal prepared and planned; you don’t want it going to waste.
Response: It will be going to waste anyway if I eat it and I’m not hungry – wasted time eating what I don’t need, wasted energy feeling sluggish and/or not sleeping well, and calories going to my waist. It’s not worth it.
If I think about it this, it helps me put aside the desire to eat, saving that for when I’m truly hungry and will appreciate the food the most. Which doesn’t mean I’m not still tempted sometimes, but at least I can deal with it better.