Are you suffering from physical or emotional hunger?*

Thursday, 14 March 2019, By Kimberley Masina

Do you often find yourself reaching for the chocolate when you're upset? Or maybe ordering a pizza on the way home from a tough day at the office?

This is called feeding your 'emotional' hunger. When you aren't actually physically hungry, but you use food to feel better.

Now, while a treat every now and then isn't a terrible thing, not dealing with your emotions, and using food as a coping mechanism, is likely to lead to a very unhealthy relationship with food and more serious health problems in the future.

So, let's break it down, and come up with a plan to turn your relationship with food into a long lasting, loving one.   

Food as fuel:

Changing the way you think, or look at food might be the first step to creating a positive relationship.

Instead of thinking about certain foods as 'good' or 'bad', why not think of them as fuel for your body?

Foods that are high in refined sugar are going to give the engine a good kick, but it won't last long and you'll soon be sluggish and in park for the rest of the day. Thus, not a great fuel choice.

Let's clean out the pipes and open her up! Adding a range of fruit and vegetables to your day will not only give you a natural energy and vitamin boost, the high fibre content will also help keep your blood vessels clear and reduce your "bad" cholesterol. Great fuel choice!

To keep the engine running & keep us moving throughout the day, it's also important to include some slow burning fuels. Protein is the number one choice here, and there are so many great options; lean meats, seafood, legumes and beans. Take your pick!

Lastly, let's throw in some nuts and seeds to boost our antioxidants, anti-inflammatory responders and protect us from the nasties to ensure longevity. Personal favourites; raw almonds, walnuts and pepitas!

What's the alternative?

Food isn't the only thing that will make you feel better. So, let's find some alternatives and create new healthy habits to stop the negative cycle of guilt, punishment and dieting.

Identify your trigger/s:

  • Feeling upset/lonely?
    • Call a loved one or watch a movie that will make you smile
  • Feeling anxious/stressed?
    • Get rid of the bad energy by dancing to your favourite song or go for a walk
  • Feeling exhausted?
    • Make a cup of tea, put on some soothing music, take a bath
  • Take 5 (minutes) - pause, take a few deep breaths, do you really want/need the food?
    • Have a glass of water and reassess

Finally, remember that the emotion that you feed the most has the most power over you.

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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