Stress from divorce can affect us in different ways, and our relationship with food is often at the top of the list. Emotional hunger vs physical hunger can be even harder to sort out.
Some people shut down and eat just enough to get by. For others, the opposite occurs and they eat when bored, depressed or lonely, resulting in unhealthful weight gain.
Stress can exacerbate unhealthy relationships with food.
As children, we were put on a schedule to eat — whether we were hungry, full or in need of a reward — which is counterintuitive to how our bodies function. We were told to finish what was on our plate. We learned to stop listening to our bodies.
One typical challenge for many is understanding the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
Listening to our bodies may come naturally for some, but for others it can be a challenge that must be relearned, particularly when we face difficult times.
In fact, our bodies give us very distinct food cues when we are physically hungry. What is your body telling you about hunger?
Before you choose to eat or not eat, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your stomach rumbling, gurgling or growling?
- Does it have a feeling of emptiness? Are you beginning to feel dizzy, faint or lightheaded?
- Are you developing a headache?
- Are you becoming irritable or easily agitated?
- Are you struggling to concentrate?
- Did you slowly begin to notice your hunger?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then, you likely are physically hungry. In that case, enjoy a healthy snack or a well-balanced, nutritious meal.
If you are feeling bored, stressed or depressed, or your hunger came on suddenly, then you may be emotionally hungry. It also can be helpful to think about what it is that you are hungry for, as your answer may tell you the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. If you are craving a pint of ice cream, bag of cookies or box of chocolates, you are experiencing emotional hunger and may want to think about “why” before consuming them.
At Vesta, we know it’s important to stay healthy before, during and after your divorce.
The ability to concentrate, make decisions, parent, and continue your career while handling a divorce require you to be in top form. Lisa is available to work with you to review your daily nutrition, menus, health and wellness plans.
Lisa Dahl was renowned for her boutique catering. She has transformed her career and is a Personal Trainer and Health & Wellness Coach in Bolton, MA. Find her at www.astudioat68.com.