069. Can’t figure out if you’re actually hungry or just bored? What you need to know!

bored or hungry; ryann nicole

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Episode Transcript

Hey there, it’s Ryann from the Food Freedom Lab. Today, let’s tackle a common question: are you eating out of boredom or hunger? I’m here to guide you through this and help you find satisfaction beyond food. I’m Ryann, your go-to source for tips and tricks on navigating the world of food and body to become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself. A licensed therapist, certified nutritionist, and a recovered binge eater, I’m all about keeping it real, raw, and authentic. So grab your snacks, and let’s chat in the Food Freedom Lab.

Boredom vs. Hunger

One of the most frequent questions I receive is whether someone is eating out of boredom or hunger. To unravel this, we need to define boredom. According to Dictionary.com, boredom is an emotion or signal indicating that what you’re doing doesn’t give you satisfaction. Now, the real question arises: is this emotional hunger or physical hunger?

Differentiating Emotional and Physical Hunger

Let’s distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. Emotional hunger is sudden, located in your head, specific in its cravings, and satisfied when your mind has had enough, even if it means eating more than comfortably full. Physical hunger, on the other hand, is gradual, located in your body, open to options, and satisfied when your body has had enough. Understanding this difference is crucial.

The Real Issue

The problem isn’t necessarily eating when you’re bored; it’s not knowing how to find satisfaction outside of food. If food is your sole source of satisfaction, it becomes the go-to when boredom strikes. So, the real challenge is learning to find satisfaction in various aspects of life beyond food.

The “Is That Annoying?” Test

If you’re unsure whether you’re emotionally or physically hungry, try the “Is That Annoying?” test. Place the food you’re craving on a plate or in a bowl, head to the table, close down distractions, and start eating. If eating without distractions feels annoying, it’s likely emotional hunger. This test can give you insights, although it’s not a strict rule.

Addressing Emotional Hunger

If you realize your hunger is emotional, the first step is to ask if it’s affecting your life. It’s not about setting rigid rules; it’s about living a life that makes you feel your best. Then, get curious: What are you emotionally trying to get from this food? Reflect on your choice, whether it’s eating or choosing an alternative like a walk, and evaluate if it gave you what you wanted. If not, consider what you truly need at that moment.

Reflecting Without Judgment

Don’t demonize emotional eating. Instead, approach it with curiosity and reflection. Sometimes eating when bored is okay and brings satisfaction, while other times, it might not. The key is to learn from these experiences, identify your needs, and continue prioritizing feeling good.

Changing the Mindset

Remember, emotional eating is not a crime; it’s a coping mechanism. Shifting your mindset from how to stop eating when bored to finding satisfaction in various aspects of life is the key. Try different things, embrace curiosity, and notice the changes in how you feel.

If you take anything from this, let it be this: emotional eating is not a crime. It’s just a coping mechanism. The real challenge is not eating when bored but finding satisfaction beyond food. By changing our mindset, trying different things, and prioritizing feeling good, we can transform our relationship with food and live a more fulfilling life.

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Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.