La fame it does not come only from the stomach, very often this sensation is caused by something else. "It is easy to confuse certain emotional needs with languor, from inner emptiness to the desire for affection," he explains Maria Beatrice Toro, psychotherapist.
“It happens because in childhood, parents often offer their children food in response to a whim, boredom, or disappointment. Basically you learn to eat to console and gratify yourself. It is good to keep in mind, however, that food should only serve to nourish us and produce energy», Continues the expert who illustrates the three most common types of hunger.
When it is empty hunger
It is generated by a feeling of lack that can derive from the loss of a person or from an unexpressed need; there recognize why the empty not born from the stomach, but higher, on the side of the heart: "Ask yourself what you are missing, it could be a relationship, job satisfaction, or just a little love, sociability or fun," says Dr. Toro.
- What to do. "Even if there are no simple solutions to fill this hole in the soul, something you can do. The starting point is assume an attitude of acceptance and connection: feel yourself as part of the whole, feel connected to the world and let this feeling fill you. What makes you feel "full" is the awareness of giving but also receiving energy from others. To do this, it can help you sign up for a meditation course », advises the expert.
When you eat with your eyes
Sometimes we eat only because, with our eyes, we decide that we like something and we are convinced that it will feed us: «The hunger of the eyes is something purely aesthetic. You see something captivating and you want to make it yours. A greed that, however, must be satisfied ”, explains the expert.
- What to do. "If, therefore, you can't resist the temptation to go into that candy store that attracts you so much, buy the most beautiful packaging for you. But before eating that pastry, that bon bon, look at it in detail, thus satisfying your hunger for "beautiful things". At a low calorie price »advises the psychotherapist.
When he is stress hungry
To many people, tensions open the stomach. “There is a need to anesthetize negative thoughts. In fact, when you eat, your attention is focused on something pleasant that distracts you from anxieties and worries. After the snack, however, the malaise is magnified by the sense of guilt.
- What to do. Better distract yourself with a game app (Tetris or Solitaire) or with crosswords. The mind, working on the solution of the game, frees itself of its "encumbrances".
How to recognize true appetite
It is not easy to recognize the real hunger from the "mental" one, because what one feels is still a sensation of appetite. It is possible, however, to question oneself about one's emotional state. Always ask yourself: "Am I hungry because I'm nervous?"; «I am sad and I look for consolation?». Also remember that real hunger comes from the stomach: learn to listen to it and if you have any doubts wait half an hour before eating something else: if it is not appetite it will pass.