Basix Wellness

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

Why Do You Eat?

The Next Time You Head for the Fridge...

  • Am I eating to avoid feelings (boredom, anxiety, anger, loneliness)?
  • Am I eating to avoid something (work, exercise, conflict)?
  • Am I eating out of habit (lunch at noon, TV time, break time)?
  • Am I craving a specific food or a specific feeling of fullness?

...Substitute a Positive Behavior

  • Write your emotions--blog, email, journal!
  • Phone a friend before you pick up that spoon.
  • Send an email to yourself encouraging you to do what you are avoiding.
  • List what makes your life full: friends, talents, memories?
  • Fill your time differently--read, walk, knit, tidy up.
  • Get out of your own head and do something for someone else.

Feelings or Fueling. Would any of these conversational exchanges cause you to overeat?

Quite simply, eating is fueling. But eating can sometimes be a way of expressing positive feelings such as joy, friendship, or accomplishment.

More often than not, thoughtless eating can be a way of avoiding negative feelings such as anger, guilt, boredom, anxiety, or fear. It doesn't help that societal norms work against thoughtful eating.

Can you think of a celebration that does not include--if not focus on--food?

Appetite Does Not Equal Hunger. Before the age of about four years, humans are more in tune with hunger and satiety (a feeling of fullness). Give a three-year-old a bucket of ice cream and they may eat a half cup. Give them a quarter cup serving and they will likely ask for more. Adults, on the other hand, will eat proportionally more with larger serving sizes, mostly out of habit.

Hunger and satiety are physiological responses to nourishment. Appetite is more closely linked with desire for a specific food. The science of appetite is intricate and driven by a multitude of factors including the senses--taste, smell, sight, texture, even sound (think the bells of an ice cream truck); body chemistry such as hormones; environmental stimuli from social events and even temperature!

Eating should be a balance between appetite (choosing the foods you like and you feel good about eating) and hunger (choosing the best fuel for your body). Eat slowly and listen to your body. It takes 15-20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. Eating should also be pleasant.

Cluttering your mind with a ton of "don't eat" and "can't have" thoughts can ruin one of life's simple joys. Banning a particular food is one of the best ways to become obsessed with it. Choose foods you like, eat modest portions, and take the time to enjoy all food.

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