Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Do You Know the Difference Between Physical Hunger and Emotional Craving?

I ate way too many chocolate covered peanuts last night. I wasn’t physically hungry. I was in front of the TV and the peanuts were by my side. So I ate them. I know better. I wrote a book entitled, Press Pause Before You Eat— a book about mindless eating.

A starting point to break the habit of emotional or mindless eating is knowing the difference between physical hunger and emotional cravings. Do you know how to tell the difference?

Physical hunger                                                                Emotional Craving

Builds gradually                                                                         Hits suddenly, “I just want something.”


Stomach rumbles and grumbles                                             Anxious but no physical symptoms

Feel full and stop eating                                                            Eat when full

Any food will satisfy                                                                    Want a specific food or type (salty, sweet)

Physically feel empty                                                                  Mouth and mind are tasting the food

Eat and feel better                                                                        Eat and feel guilty


Choose foods purposely                                                                Eat whatever is there

Once you know the difference, you must press pause and ask, “Do I really want this food or am I eating it because it is there?” The pause may be enough to stop mindless eating.


For more help with mindless eating tips, check out Dr. Linda Mintle’s book PRESS PAUSE BEFORE YOU EAT. Click on More Books by Dr. Linda Mintle on the right.


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