General Question

Facade's avatar

Why would a person ignore their physical feelings of hunger and indulge their psychological cravings for certain foods?

Asked by Facade (22902points) December 19th, 2011

I do this all the time (not to the point of starvation or medical emergency), and I think I’ve been doing it to some degree since I was young. What gives?

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6 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Do you put off eating when you’re hungry because eating more regularly seems like annoyance of your body whereas snacking or binging feels like it’s when your brain/you choose?

Facade's avatar

No, not really. I just get stressed out about trying to decide what to eat, and lately (past couple years) being stressed gives me nausea. That makes it even more difficult to stomach foods that aren’t absolutely pleasing to me. But it does seem annoying to eat sometimes. Like now, I’m starving, but I’m working on a paper, so I don’t want to lose my focus or desire to complete the assignment by going to do something else (eating). I don’t know. I’m weird…

DaphneT's avatar

I do it because as a child I was denied specific food types and my stubborn “how dare you” gene kicked in. So I have strong memory associations with certain foods, and these have become my go-to foods for stress situations. My life is very un-fulfilling lately, so I reach for comfort foods to fill the gap. This triggers soothing brain chemicals for a time, and my body-mind-feeling connections become more confused each time this happens. I’ve taken sessions on how to feel my real hunger, but that was ten years ago and I don’t implement as frequently as I need to. The brain can be retrained so that you can feed yourself , when hungry, with good-for-you foods. It takes work just like anything else.

keobooks's avatar

I remember reading stories about concentration camp victims trading food for cigarettes. They were starving to death and yet were still willing to give up what little they had for a smoke. It’s not quite the same as what you’re asking, but I think it’s similar.

Edited to add: The smokers all died as far as I know. The survivors who told the stories were the ones that traded the cigarettes for food.

deni's avatar

I have been doing something really similar lately! I’ve been kind of subconsciously really stressed out I think and just going through a major life change, but I feel happy about it, so I didn’t think I was stressed out. Then I’d realize at the end of the day I was starving and I knew I’d been hungry for the past 6 hours but just had other things to think about and worry about and do rather than eat. So, today, I was doing a bunch of stuff and when I started getting hungry but didn’t wanna stop to eat, I ate a banana. Then an apple. Then I had bought myself enough time to wait a few hours and then actually have time to gather some food and not feel so irritated by it. So….I don’t know….sometimes you just don’t feel like it? Seems crazy to me because I love food but….if you figure it out let me know.

Carol's avatar

Physical feelings of hunger originate in the brain. So do cravings. So does emotion.

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