1.Emotional eating hunger comes on suddenly while physical hunger develops slowly. Physical hunger begins with a tummy rumble, then it becomes a stronger grumble, and finally it evolves into hunger pangs, but it's a slow process, very different from emotional hunger, which has a sudden, dramatic onset.
2. Unlike physical hunger, emotional eating hunger demands food immediately, and it wants immediate satisfaction. Physical hunger, on the other hand, will wait for food.
3. A difference between physical and emotional eating hunger involves mindfulness. To satisfy physical hunger, you normally make a deliberate choice about what you consume, and you maintain awareness of what you eat. You notice how much you put in your mouth so that you can stop when you're full. IN contrast, emotional hunger rarely notices what's being eaten. If you have emotional hunger, you'll want more food even after you're stuffed.
4. Emotional eating hunger often demands particular foods in order to be fulfilled. If you're physically hungry, even carrots will look delicious. If you're emotionally hungry, however, only cake or ice cream or your particular preferred indulgence will seem appealing.
5. Emotional eating hunger often results in guilt or promises to do better next time. Physical hunger has no guilt attached to it because you know you ate in order to maintain health and energy.
6. Emotional eating hunger results from some emotional trigger. Physical hunger results from a physiological need.
7. When you are feeding physical hunger, you can eat your food and savor each bite, but when you eat to fulfill emotional eating hunger you stuff the food in. All of a sudden the whole pint of ice cream is gone.
A study I conducted of 17,000 failed dieters showed that virtually all of them relapsed because of emotional issues -- mostly related to self-esteem or emotional hurt. They were doing really well on their diets, and then their husband started having an affair, or they lost their job, or a parent got sick, and so on. Perhaps you had a similar kind of thing trip up your diet efforts in the past.
One thing I've learned is that attacking emotional eating hunger by counting calories is almost like trying to run a marathon while lying on your couch. It just doesn't make any sense. You need to go deep within to control emotional hunger, because as real as the hunger feels, it originates not in your belly, but in your mind.
eDiets can help you take the first step to feeling better about yourself and, in turn, controlling your emotional eating. With our meal delivery plans, we provide the food (so it's all healthy), and you can lose 10 pounds in just 5 short weeks. Get more information on eDiets Meal Delivery.
Dr. Roger Gould is a psychiatrist who specializes in adult behavior and the author of the best-selling book Shrink Yourself: Break Free From Emotional Eating Forever! For more information on emotional eating and handling the stress of everyday life, go to www.shrinkyourself.com.