Mindful Eating Basics: Checking for True Hunger Before You Eat

Mindful Eating Basics: Checking for True Hunger Before You Eat
[four-minute read]

Is That A Grumbly In Your Tumbly?

Our bodies talk to us. But in a loud and busy world, it’s easy to misunderstand what they are saying, ignore them, or not hear them at all. Mindful eating invites us to improve our listening skills so we can listen to them and make more informed food choices. A starting point for mindful eating is learning to recognize true hunger from its imposters. Run through this series of reflection questions to uncover what’s going on in your gut.

  1. Begin with a few breaths to relax your mind and prepare for active listening. After resetting in this way, focus on your stomach. How does it feel? Is it empty? Is it rumbling or growling at all? Or are none of these signs present? 

  2. What about your energy levels? Can you tackle what’s in front of you without feeling lightheaded, irritable, and shaky? 

  3. If your stomach is fine and your energy levels aren’t low, reflect on what emotions you might be experiencing just below the surface. Are you sad, lonely, angry, or afraid? What were you feeling right before you made a bee-line for the snack machine? 

  4. If you’re not physically hungry and not experiencing difficult emotions, are you bored? On the flip side, are you particularly stressed and overwhelmed by the stack of to-dos on your desk?

Feed Your Mind

If running through these questions revealed that you are truly hungry for protein, carbs, or fats, that’s perfect. One of Oats Overnight's nutrient-dense breakfasts would hit the spot. If what you discovered is that something else is driving your hunger, then that’s also a win! Many other cues like anxiety and stress evoke a sensation similar to hunger and cause us to crave comfort. In neuroscientific terms, that craving is for serotonin, a wonderful little chemical that rewards us with a sense of well-being, confidence, and pleasure. When we’re “full” on it we feel happy as a clam. When we’re running low….not so much. Here are some things you can do to get your serotonin flix without eating mindlessly:

  1. Recall a past accomplishment or compliment you received. If none come to mind, think about a creative idea you are excited to share with others. Let your mind marinate in these thoughts, reliving or imagining all the details and enjoying all the positive emotions that wash over you.

  2. Call a friend or do some journaling about the stress you are experiencing. Reflect on how you feel after venting.

  3. Go for a walk or do some stretching while taking deep, purifying breaths.

  4. Cure your boredom by tackling that task you’ve been avoiding for months. Cue “We Are the Champions” or your favorite victory song.

  5. Take a nap. Sometimes a little shuteye is the perfect “snack” for your brain.

Eating to celebrate an event or because a particular dish makes your mouth water is okay on occasion. Guilt is not the goal of mindful eating. Instead, you’ll be able to fully enjoy cake at the next birthday party you attend because it will be an informed choice, not an unconscious reaction. 

Food For Thought

At Oats Overnight we don’t sell magic remedies for weight loss or instant body transformation. We create premium, nutritious food that helps our customers reach attainable goals, one morning at a time. Join us as we journey together towards greater health, success, and joy.

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Enjoy the benefits of eating breakfast with none of the work. Overnight oatmeal loaded with superfoods like flax, chia, maca root, and 20g+ of protein. No recipes needed. Life Is Hard, Make Breakfast Easy.