13 Reasons We Eat When We’re Not Hungry

having fun

 I chose this photo because it shows the joy and fun that we were born to crave and love. We knew it best as little ones and today, as adults, that hunger for a lightness of life and pleasure is still there. 

As I was putting this post together, and coming up my own reasons for why we eat outside of hunger, I decided to add to the conversation by asking my private coaching groups what they thought. Today, brought to you by myself and my beautiful clients, I’m sharing a list of 13  situations/reasons we tend to eat outside of our natural hunger cue’s.

By the way, you’re not “odd” for eating when you’re not hungry, we all do it! The goal is to learn why we do it, to create some awareness in those areas, and work from there. The goal isn’t even perfection, so give yourself some grace before we dive in.

Think about it: if we’re constantly eating when we’re hungry (for the most part, we do, right?) AND we’re eating for several/all of the reasons below too… what might this be doing to our body/mind/wellbeing?

And then we are going on restriction diets to “fix” the weight/mood/emotional problems?

Is this really helping?

Reasons that we eat (other than hunger):

1. We’re bored

We’re in search of HAPPY. We just want to feel good. We’re not sure what else we’d like to do. So, the moment there’s a lull in our schedule, and it’s quiet, we think of food as something to do.

2. We want to stop an uncomfortable emotion

Similar to boredom, we’re uncomfortable, and we want it to stop. So we eat, which for a moment spikes our serotonin (our happy hormone) and acts as a distraction, until that moment passes and we’re still in the same uncomfortable situation we started in.

3. We don’t trust our hunger will show up

Maybe you ate too much at brunch (see this post for fullness), and you’re uncomfortable because it’s been five hours since you last ate and your body is still not hungry. You’re feeling impatient, so you eat.

4. Everyone else is doing it

Perhaps you’re at a party, you’re not hungry, but there’s food and everyone else is eating, so why not. You start eating too. Only to realize that once the full meal comes out you’re not hungry at all. But you eat anyways, because everyone else is still doing it.

5. We just got home from the grocery store and want to try all the snacks

You went to the store hungry, bought all the snacks, and now that you’re home you’re feeling ravenous and want to taste everything in sight.

6. We’re having a “see-food” craving

You walk by a food that you weren’t craving at all until you saw it (perhaps cookies in the break room at work), but now that you see it, it looks good and you may as well eat it.

7. We feel out of control hungry

Common scenario for this one: you just got home from work, totally famished, snacked a ton while standing in from of the cupboard/fridge/counter, and now you’re not that hungry for dinner, but are also unsatisfied… So you give up dinner and continue snacking in search of satisfaction that never comes.

8. Our healthy intentions are catching up to us

We’ve eaten such a “clean” day, and suppressed so many cravings that that we’re just done with the willpower for the day. It’d feel so much easier/light/free/fun to just eat so we stop thinking about the rules and we just go for it (which doesn’t end up feeling great either).

9. We justify our eating based on being “better” in the future

Eh, well, we’ll surely be better tomorrow, so who cares. Right now, it’s fine to just eat the whole pint of ice cream. I’ll do it now, and get back on track tomorrow and it’ll all even out (<– thinking all of this as you’re hurriedly finishing up the ice cream before you can even notice what you’re doing).

10. We’re stressed

Whether we’re frustrated, feeling impatient, or nervous, our body is STRESSED. Cortisol is up, and our ghrelin (hunger hormone in the brains pleasure center), and we think of food first to calm us down. Without knowing any other options that might be ultimately more rewarding, we eat.

11. We’re moving too fast

We have zero consciousness around what we’re eating, simply because we’re moving too fast. We’re not moving slow or calmly enough to create awareness around how we feel.

12. We’re tired

We didn’t get a great night of sleep, or we stayed up too late. Our hunger hormones are elevated for the rest of the day, and we’re feeling “snacky.” Our body is searching for energy.

13. We’re unsatisfied

This happens a ton when we deprive ourselves of something we really want. We have a craving. We feel like we “shouldn’t” have it, so we opt for a healthier snack to try and cure the craving that way. We end up eating all the healthy snacks, plus what we were originally craving anyways.

Which of these can you relate to? Have any more to add?

These are just some of the reasons why I believe that tuning into our bodies and connecting with out true needs is so much more respectful than going on a diet.

Learning to listen to and care for ourselves is so much more beautiful. It’s so much more rewarding. It makes so much more sense.

Women, I am passionate about sharing this with you. I am passionate about helping you to see the freedom and the amazing feel-good-ness that is available to you when you begin to TUNE-IN and live life in a way that is more authentic, true, and responsive to YOU (your wants, your desires, your needs). Can you see through this post that it’s not always just about the food? There’s so much more going on that we sometimes can’t see ourselves. 

What to do with this post?

Notice which of these 13 reasons resonate with you the most. Begin creating awareness by simply noticing without any judgement how this shows up in your life.

If you’re interested in working with me on this further than reading the blog and being on my reader VIP list (join here), you have two options:

(1) Work with me one on one via the phone or Skype in my Six-month Total Transformation Program (program here, testimonials here). You can jump on the Health Coaching List to get in line for a “Step Into Your Transformation” Consultation.

(2) Join the waitlist for Finally Free, a virtual program that will guide you to total freedom with food. By joining the waitlist you’ll have to option to join the program at our next launch, which is just around the corner (we only open enrollment for about 1-2 weeks per year).

Sending you big time love and warmth today.


Previous Daily Eats: New CrockPot Dinner + My First Meetup Group Next Daily Eats: A Short & Sweet Family Visit in SLO

Brighter Together

Unlock your brightest life: weekly inspiration and practical tips straight to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.