TOTAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM
Why Are You Eating?
Practice your food journaling skills by troubleshooting a sample journal and making suggestions.
Are you eating when you’re physically hungry?
It’s easy to forget what it feels like to be truly physically hungry.
Instead, we eat for other reasons,
- “it’s mealtime”
- Fitting in to social situations …
If you’re not eating according to physical hunger cues, it can be especially easy to overeat, or make choices that don’t align with your goals.
Assess if why is an important metric for you, according to your current skills and goals.
If it’s important for you to track, note whether you were physically hungry when you started eating. Rate your hunger. How hungry were you, on a scale from 1-10?
Then, noting how physically full you were when you stopped eating. Did you stop when you were “just satisfied”, 80% full, or did you go all the way to “stuffed”?
What else is going on?
Eating choices are sometimes driven by unsettled emotions, rather than direct physical hunger signals.
To give even more insight into the connection of stress and emotions with your eating choices, note what else is going on during the meal. Beyond feelings of hunger, how are you feeling?
- Are you stressed from a demanding day at work?
- Are you feeling worried or anxious about a relationship with someone who’s close to you?
- Are you excited and feeling celebratory?
- What stories and rationale are running while you eat?
Track those feelings to help you better understand when there could be better alternatives to eating to settle restless emotions. Alternatives like texting a friend or getting fresh air.
This can be an especially important time to stay objective and non-judgemental. Whether it’s moving you closer or farther from your goals, every emotion is legitimate and serving a purpose for you. Observing and tracking is a major first step in figuring out how to adjust, if you want to.
Before your meal:
- Am I stressed? Happy? Rushed? Sad?
- What foods will help me reach my goals?
During your meal:
- Am I happy with what I ordered or prepared?
- Does this food add value to my body?
- Does it taste good?
- Am I taking time to enjoy it?
After your meal:
- How was that eating experience?
- Am I happy with my food decision?
- How do I feel physically?
Here are two worksheets that you can download and use to help yourself explore these questions.
The Behavior Awareness Worksheet
The Hunger Game Worksheet
Does everything you eat add value?
Does it make you better and healthier, physically and emotionally?
Does it nourish you?
There’s no “right” way to eat. More importantly, are you eating purposefully and enjoying it? Or are you feeling uncertain, guilty, or restricted?
You can use your food journal to observe and assess as a compassionate neutral observer.