Custom «Eat When You Are Hungry, Not When You Are Bored» Sample Essay
Eating should be done to satisfy the somach, not the mind. The rule number 47 in Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules, is, Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. A general observation he makes is the fact that most of us eat not because we are hungry, but because we are bored and want to entertain and reward ourselves. According to Pollan, “If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you're not hungry” (Pollan, 340). He further observed that food can be a costly antidepressant. Boredom eating often occurs when we fail to recognize the difference between an emotional longing for food and a physical craving. When we become fully aware of the difference between the two, we are able to discipline ourselves and eat only when it is necessary to.
A physical craving is usually created by the body’s need for food. It is based on actual hunger. When a physical craving occurs, symptoms may include: rumbling of the stomach, feeling weak, difficulty in concentrating, and sometimes a headache. In his book, Pollan adds that, “Unlike an emotional craving, a physical craving is a signal that the body requires more energy, and it should be honored at all times” (Pollan, 345). A person should feel “full” once it has been satisfied. On the other hand, an emotional craving is usually triggered by other needs other than hunger. It may be triggered by stress, loneliness, or boredom. It can also be created by environmental cues such as an inviting scent of food, a television commercial, or even just a simple sight of one’s favorite dish (Taub-Dix). These factors, among others, can trigger one to feel the need for eating even when they are not hungry. No matter how a person eats, these cravings are rarely satisfied. This is because when they occur, food is not really what is needed to “fulfil” them. Emotional cravings seek an emotional fulfillment.
Food can be very tempting and ignoring occasional urges to satisfy emotional cravings is not easy. However, healthy eating requires a high level of discipline. The first line of defense that every person facing such a moment should do is to have a conversation with oneself. It does not have to be loud. This only involves conversing within in a caring therapist’s tone. Examples of questions to ask oneself may include: “am I really hungry?”, is this kind of food really beneficial to me?”, or “am I in to satisfy a physical craving or an emotional craving?” (Pope, Phillips, & Olivardia, 98). We do not always need others to warn us when we are treading dangerously in terms of food. We can be our own watchmen and avoid taking food out of boredom by all means.
The other precaution a person should take is not to mistake thirst for hunger. In most cases, dehydration causes feelings of tiredness and irritability. The first instinct that would come to many people’s minds would be to grab cookies or something to eat, instead of taking a beverage. Do not always surrender to a craving without a fight. Drinking a glass of water every time a craving presents itself is a very practical way of killing it. Another great tip of using a beverage to fight a craving is by cutting an apple and then drenching it with hot apple-cinnamon tea. To accompany this, you may want to consider low sugar, low fat hot cocoa that would provide a sweet chocolaty fix. If these two options fail to serve the purpose, which is unlikely, you may also consider whipping up a fruit smoothie. Reliable recent research has shown that many people are calcium deficient (Garfunkel, 122). Therefore, using skim milk to make these beverages would be good for the bones. This way, you will not surrender to boredom by just eating whatever is available, which is likely to be unhealthy, rather, you will spend that time to make a better food solution.
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Snacking every now and then is the major cause of piling calories in our bodies. There is a way of saving oneself many calories just by remembering one word: postpone. In most cases you may realize that you are craving a certain snack so much, even when you are not really hungry. When this occurs, try waiting for twenty minutes, then revisit the urge. You would be surprised to find out that a difference of a few minutes can eliminate an emotional craving in a big way, and even perhaps, create the urge to have a proper meal.
Boredom or lack of something to engage us gives the feeling to want to eat. However, by short-circuiting this pattern of wanting to put something in the mouth out of boredom, we can make a major victory in turning around an unhealthy but common eating pattern. It is, however, very easy promise ourselves this over and over again, only to realize that we are not really making any strides towards healthy eating. This is because boredom eating is just automatic; it has nothing to do with hunger ("Boredom Eating: You're Not Hungry, You're Bored!"). Depending on the environment, a smell, an advert or a memory, the frequency of emotional cravings and boredom eating can be overwhelming. The moment when you find yourself lazing around your refrigerator, gazing inside for a few seconds waiting for some sort of an inspiration, that is boredom eating about to happen right there. If it were hunger that was really causing you to be there, then you would definitely be made to make a quick decision by your physical need.
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