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Our Philosophy

As we all navigate through our daily lives, challenges, disappointments, health crises, physical injuries and emotional stresses find their way into our realities. Often supports that could assist us through these events and situations are not easily found nor readily available to us. It is the philosophy of Fairmount Associates that emotional supports should be readily available, easily accessible and financially reasonable for everyone.

Contact Us

Tel: (215) 236-6100
Fax: (215) 236-6302
Email: fairmountassociates@yahoo.com

2542 "A" Brown Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

End Emotional Eating: Learn How to Tell the Difference Between Physical & Emotional Hunger

By Wendy Merron, CBH, NGH Instructor

Why is it important to understand the difference between Emotional Hunger and Physical Hunger? If you are in the process of losing weight, beginning a diet, or changing your lifestyle, then learning how to identify Emotional Hunger can be the difference between struggle and success.

Learning to identify Emotional Hunger allows you to begin the process of eliminating Emotional Eating. If you don't eat food for a number of hours most likely you'll find yourself feeling hungry. But is it "real" hunger? Or is the feeling "emotional" hunger?

Can you recall the last time you felt hungry? Did you notice a feeling in your stomach - maybe a gnawing feeling, maybe a rumbling kind of feeling? If at the time you didn't pay attention to that feeling by eating something, would that feeling get bigger and larger as time went on? If this is a familiar feeling and one you could actually pinpoint the location on your body where you are feeling it, then you know what physical hunger feels like.

Most people (perhaps you) rarely experience this feeling. Most people tend to eat before they get hungry or eat when it's "time to eat", regardless of whether they feel hungry at the time. In the past (many, many years ago), if you were hungry you most likely would have to wait until you got home to eat. Now that there are so many places to eat - fast food restaurants, mini stores at gas stations, and food sections in pharmacies, it's quite easy to grab something while you are on the go. It may not be healthy, but it will certainly be convenient.

Emotional Hunger is quite different than Physical Hunger. Physical Hunger comes on slowly and grows stronger if you don't pay attention to it. Emotional hunger however comes on quite quickly. And emotional hunger is devoid of that familiar feeling in your stomach. In fact, Emotional Hunger usually comes on quite quickly. Emotional Hunger begins as a thought "I really want to eat something right now," or you may find yourself in the kitchen thinking "I wonder if there is anything good to eat around here." Sometimes emotional hunger just happens when you walk through the kitchen and you find yourself just grabbing something to put in your mouth.

When the thought of eating comes into your mind quickly and is NOT accompanied by that feeling in your stomach, then you are experiencing Emotional Hunger.

People who eat when they are physically hungry and stop when they no longer feel hungry tend to be trim and healthy. People who eat when they experience Emotional Hunger tend to be overweight. Why? Because Emotional Hunger leads to Emotional Eating.

When people eat for emotional reasons they tend to continue until another feeling overtakes the emotion. For example, imagine a woman who is frustrated with her family. She feels the desire to eat even though she may not feel hungry.

She begins eating. And eating. And eating. Some ice cream. Maybe chips. Perhaps some cookies. Maybe some leftovers. She may continue to eat until her stomach feels overstuffed, but will this make her frustration go away? Of course not.

FACT: NO AMOUNT OF FOOD WILL EVER SATISFY ANY EMOTION.
A good rule to follow is this: EVERYTIME YOU BRING FOOD TO YOUR MOUTH ASK YOURSELF "AM I HUNGRY?" IF YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY, AS YOURSELF "WHAT AM I FEELING?'

If you don't know what you are feeling, that's ok. Just being aware that you are not hungry is a great start. When you know that you are not hungry you can walk away from the food. You can choose to do something else. Read. Take a walk. Call a friend. Do something you enjoy.

Should you become hungry later on ask yourself again how you feel. Continue to do this every time you are hungry and you will notice that you are no longer need to respond to your emotions with food.

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