Here are some ways to decide whether you are eating because your body really needs food or you are eating for emotional reasons.
Physical hunger is generally gradual. Your stomach rumbles, a little later it growls, physical symptoms appear.
Emotional hunger is quick onset! I need to eat NOW.
Physical hunger is open to different foods and healthier choices.
Emotional hunger generally craves a certain food. (chocolate or potato chips)
Physical hunger is based in the stomach.
Emotional hunger is in the head- mind and mouth. You can almost taste it and that's all you can think about.
Physical hunger is patient. You need to eat soon, but can wait a little while.
Emotional hunger is urgent and you must do it now to ease the emotion.
Physical hunger occurs from a true physical need.
Emotional hunger is generally paired with a troubling emotion.
Physical hunger involves deliberate choices of food and awareness of eating.
Emotional hunger is absent minded and automatic.
Physical hunger stops when satisfied.
Emotional hunger does not listen to signals of satisfaction and keeps eating until over-full.
Physical hunger realizes eating is necessary for life.
Emotional hunger and overeating leaves us feeling guilty.
Keep these in mind as we get a handle on emotional eating.