The question to always ask yourself is "am I physically hungry, or am I emotional hungry?" We often tie our emotions to food; for example, if you had a bad day at work, stressed out or even happy we reach for food. That is why emotional hunger plays a huge role in why we overeat most of the time. The most common experiences in my programs are individuals dealing with emotional hunger. We are so attached to "food" that we get uncomfortable with the slight signs of feeling hungry.
I purposely design my juice programs this way because it was something that I myself had a problem with and currently working on overcoming as well. When I first created the "Shrink Me Challenge", I kept a journal and wrote down everything I was going through. Even Though I had access to food, I still find it was difficult to get through it. I realized then that it was really the emotional aspect of it that I never faced full on before. I was craving specific things; things like cookies, ice cream. french fries, chips...even though I had access to watermelon, cucumber and other varieties I allowed in the program.
I used to tell myself that if I really had to eat for example french fries and that if the craving was still strong, I will no longer deprived myself of it and have it the next day. In that way it made me feel like I was in control of my cravings. I remember this specific journal entry like it was yesterday. The next day came and that craving disappeared. I then began to understand the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. It was a major eye-opener for me. There was another time, I wanted a burger...I remember this clearly too. The strangest thing was that I never craved that stuff - not until I was doing the challenge. I remember asking my husband to go out and get it. I was determined to have that burger that night. I came up with all the excuses to justify why eating that burger suited me even though I was on a journey for better health. It was a pattern of convincing myself that life was too short and that I should eat whatever I want and when I wanted.
That night as he was about to leave I had a light-bulb moment, looking at my journal entries and remembering where I started and why I started changed it all for me. The funny think is I was beginning to write in my journal... the excuses associated with why eating the burger was the best decision for me. It's amazing how much we try to convince ourselves that something bad is actually something good, kind of like the diary industry lol. That night I pulled my juicer out and made a green juice and that was enough for me.
After about day 3 or 4 of the challenge my taste buds started to switch - I wasn't experiencing emotional hunger at all. The foods included in my challenge was sufficient enough to curb my physical hunger. I had access to fresh delicious juices, fruits, vegetables, unlimited herbal teas, coconut water and more...LIVE foods. I began to notice a tremendous difference as I continued all the way to 21 days. Weight loss was inevitable and I was not worrying about the weight loss part because I knew it was a guarantee. I really wanted to document and understand the process each and every step of the way... the psychological part. This is why I say my programs are beyond weight loss, they were mastered in a way that would allow you to lose weight with little or no efforts at all. The real challenge is really your mind, you must change your mindset in order for any of my programs to work for you and for you to be successful. The outcome is great. They teach you a lot about yourself and allow you to dig deep to understand some of the food related issues you may be facing and work towards handling them better in the future.
Emotional hunger is a severe form of hunger that many mistake for physical or real hunger. When you are emotionally hungry, you are trapped to a specific smell and taste that usually forms in your mind instead of rumbling noises in your belly. Emotional hunger often leaves you eating uncontrollably while still feeling unsatisfied even when you are full.
5 WAYS TO CURB EMOTIONAL HUNGER WHEN JUICING
- Instead of reaching for processed and packaged food, reach for a fruit or vegetable with high water content like watermelon, tomatoes etc. The water content will help you feel full and lets face it watermelon is delicious. I always find easy to stick to one ingredient foods.
- Use a food journal or a diary and write down what you are feeling, why do you want to eat that specific food and where it triggered from. For example, my trigger for eating junk was around 4:00 PM after the picking the kids off school, I was able to understand that and stopped it from controlling me into emotional eating. Triggers can come in the form of childhood habits, stress, and from just being bored. I reached for water instead. I enjoy reading and writing down affirmations and meditations.
- This brings me to this point, a lot of times when you think that we are hungry we are really just thirsty. Sometimes we just ate less than an hour ago and still feel desperate to eat again and soon. In that case always reach for more juice, water, tea or maybe coconut water before reaching for something unhealthy. The goal is to find healthier alternatives and to remove you from being in prison of food. Analyzing the hunger pangs (Physical or Emotional) is an important process because it allows you freedom after knowing exactly triggered your hunger in the first place.
- Watch food related documentaries. Part of the reason why I included documentaries in my 21 Day Shrink Me Challenge, The 4 Weeks Complete and Sip The Weight Away E-books was because it was the only way I was really able to change my own perception of food. Watching those documentaries made me think and realized that "food" controlled a huge aspect of my life. I put food in quotation because it wasn't food that was beneficial for my life. They did more harm than good. They help reinforce the "why" you are bettering yourself and allows to appreciate being on the right track. Also keeping active by taking on a new hobby is a great way to take your mind off food.
- Talking to someone about what you are going through, a supportive friend who understands how this journey of betterment is important to you. Having a support system that is understanding, helps keep you accountable to reach your health goals. Most people on my programs appreciate the fact that I respond to emails often. If they feel like giving up or have a moment of weakness I'm only a Facebook group message or an e-mail away.
I also find that making a conscious decision to stick to a highly plant-based lifestyle helps you stay on track to a better life. When you complete any of my programs, there is almost never a urge to eat unhealthy foods. Overall, most individuals continue to implement juicing and healthy eating as part of their lives which is best thing I could have asked for. You learn to accept both good and bad state of being and figure alternative ways to handle those feelings that will help you in the long run.
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