Are you stressed or hungry?

How are you doing so far?

Does this sound familiar?

It’s 4pm. It’s been a long day at work.

The day is almost over but you want it to be over NOW.

You head to the break room or wherever you know you’ll find “goodies”...perhaps you just slide your chocolate drawer open.

You’re stressed. You’re eating.

So you think to yourself “This must be stress eating” and you get frustrated with yourself.

Definitely a reasonable conclusion that you’re stress eating since you are, after all, both stressed and eating.

But it might not be the straightforward.

Over the past year, I’ve worked with dozens of people who identified emotional eating as a major problem.

And for most of them...they were either just hungry or hunger was driving most of their unplanned eating.

Excessive hunger creates its own stress. Your body releases stress hormones to signal that it’s time for you to go ‘hunting’.

So like a cheetah chasing a gazelle, you feel a STRONG drive to seek out food.

In your case, though, it’s high-calorie snack foods rather than gazelle meat. Hey, I don’t blame you. Gazelle meat is simply not practical these days.

That’s why, more often than not, the main solution is to keep those hunger-driven stress hormones in check by creating more balanced meals.

The #1 thing I look at when setting up clients with their own personalized weight loss habit plan is their daily pattern of eating and hunger.

I find the gaps that indicate their previous meal just didn’t cut it.

Sometimes, this is due to simply not eating in the case of 200-calorie breakfasts.

Most of the time, it’s because of not eating enough of certain things.

When you eat enough calories but in an imbalanced way, you get an incomplete feeling of fullness.

You finish a meal but you have an intense craving for sweets.

You feel stuffed when done eating...but you then feel stomach hunger just 1-3 hours later.

You feel satisfied in some ways...but empty in others.

Feels kinda weird, right?

Each “type” of food impacts your feelings of fullness in a different way.

The question isn’t whether protein is more filling than fat or whether fat is more filling than carbs.

The question is… what is the right balance of protein, carbs, and fat (and fiber/bulk) for you to feel the most satisfied?

Your mission for this week (if you choose to accept it):

Pay attention how different meal combinations fill you up differently, both in terms of providing immediate-term satisfaction and for preventing hunger over the next few hours.

Talk soon, Sean

P.S. Want a shortcut to finding the right balance to lose weight without excessive hunger? This is one of the main skills that you can develop in the Habit Project.

#holidays #healthyhabits #wellnesswednesday #awareness #stress