There different kinds of hunger and half the battle is learning to recognize what kind you are feeling at any given time.
Stomach Hunger: Your stomach feels empty, stomach is making noise (gurgling). This means eat! Figure out if you need to fuel with a snack or a meal and choose as much fresh food options as you can. Eye Hunger: You walk into the break room and see a box of sweet doughnuts or see a warm pizza. Take a few moments to consider if you are truly hungry – would you be eyeballing an apple or salad the same way? No – then you don’t need food at this time and there will be other opportunities to enjoy a doughnut or slice of pizza when you’re actually hungry. Yes – then have a small serving and enjoy – or choose better and have a healthier food option to satisfy your hunger. Mental Hunger: This usually stems from the time of day – it’s noon so then you must eat lunch. Pay attention to how you're actually feeling at certain meal times and only eat if you are hungry. Don’t have lunch or even dinner at set times just because – have them because you are actually hungry.
Emotional Hunger: Your searching for food because you’re overcome with boredom, sadness, anger, anxiety –or any other uncomfortable feeling. Stop going to the fridge or cupboards, instead acknowledge how you're feeling and why. Take a few deep breaths and deal with the problem at hand with help from journaling, talking it out, music, physical activity etc...instead of with food. The feelings will still be there after you finish eating and they’ll be worse.
Are you able to tell what hunger you are feeling? Be sure to start paying attention so that you can be in control!