Yesterday, a friend and I got into a discussion on hunger and stress. It is established that the body does not differentiate between the stress brought about by physical activity and emotional difficulty. Yet people often have different reactions to each type of stress. A person can go through a whole day of surfing and not go hungry while that same person when pressured with a looming deadline will race to the bottom of a bag of Cheetos.
I often succumb to stress eating. I’ve used it countless times to procrastinate with work and other tasks. It’s not uncommon that my morning routine starts with me opening my laptop then
opening the refrigerator. There have been many days that I’ve managed to empty a pack of M&Ms before I empty my inbox. The struggle is real.
What I’m working on is tuning in to my hunger cues. Whenever I feel hungry, especially when I’m in the middle of work or when I’m just plain bored, I pause and ask myself the following questions:
– Am I really hungry or is it just “time” to eat?
– When was my last meal?
– Have I already digested my last meal?
– Can I hold off eating for another couple of hours until when I am in the company of people who I enjoy eating with?
– What will happen if I don’t eat?
– Will I die?
After going through these questions, I often find that I am not really hungry. But do I still eat? At times that I do, I end up feeling bloated, sluggish, and sleepy. I’m Garfield at 12 in the afternoon. When I don’t eat, I find that any emotional hunger I’m feeling quickly passes within 10-15 minutes. We do have this expression “nalipasan ng gutom” (hunger has passed). It’s usually viewed in the negative when truly it’s not. What it means is that we were really not hungry in the first place.
So riding the “hunger” out for a few minutes is the task at hand. Will power is great, but I prefer zero-calorie alternatives as tools when accessible. Water or tea will do the trick. To supercharge the hunger-busting, fat-burning process, take some black coffee with cinnamon powder. The benefits of which are:
– Controls insulin levels
– Decreases blood sugar
– Speeds metabolism
– Lowers LDL cholesterol
– Helps burn belly fat
– Suppresses appetite
When it’s a coffice (coffee shop – office) day for me, I order a venti iced-americano, with the cinnamon at the bottom of my cup before the coffee is poured in. This ensures that the cinnamon is mixed easily into the drink.