If you turn to food when you’re stressed, bored or lonely, you’re not alone. Here’s how to spot false food cravings and nip them in the bud.

Emotional Hunger

Feeling sad? How about angry? Emotional hunger is usually an intense craving or ‘empty’ feeling.

Deal with it: Literally ask yourself: Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re angry, think of ways to resolve the situation while you walk the block. If you’re lonely, call a friend. You get the picture.

Bored Hunger

You’ve been in front of the television for hours and get a sudden urge for a bag of chips.

Deal with it: Your brain is craving variety, not crisps and cake! Distract yourself by having a cup of green tea or a glass of water, or get up and walk around or tidy the kitchen.

Stressed Hunger

Burning the candle at both ends? Super busy and constantly feeling the need to snack on something? That’s adrenaline, not hunger.

Deal with it: Exercising to burn off the adrenaline coursing through the body is the best way to de-stress. Don’t eat mindlessly.

Real Hunger

Real hunger occurs when the interaction between your hormones and a fall in blood sugar signal you need to eat. Is your tummy rumbling?

Deal with it: If you are genuinely hungry, eat! This is where regular meals and snacks help avert a ravenous state, in which you’re likely to choose less wise foods. (Fat. Sugar. Now.) Remember it takes 10 to 15 minutes to register satiety.

Next: 20 ways to stay diet strong>>


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