Have you ever felt like your food preference or portion sizes were almost out of your control? Is it possible that in some way they are – in that we may not always be aware as to why we have a particular powerful urge, when it started, or why it continues to exist?

The difficult thing is eating can be driven by our mind instead of being a behaviour to reduce physical feelings of hunger and to stay alive and well.

How do I know if I’m eating because
of my mind or hunger?

Physical hunger is something that we feel below our neck and from our stomach. Physical hunger builds gradually and will disappear after we feel satiated and content. In comparison if our eating is led by something other than “stomach” hunger it can be rather sudden, strong thoughts may dictate what food we desire (i.e. chocolate or chips). These thoughts persist until we eat that particular food and after eating often the urge is still there, or feelings of hopelessness, shame and guilt.

Sometimes it can still be hard to tell when our mind is controlling our eating because it’s happened for such a long period of time. In order to help better understand our non-hungry eating and food preferences let’s think about how even our childhood years teach us and train our perceptions around food and eating.