General Question

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Dealing with food cravings when you know your body isn't really hungry, are you more focused on satisfying a want to chew and taste something or make the annoyance of the hunger pang go away?

Asked by hungryhungryhortence (12148points) May 5th, 2009

What works for me isn’t working for a person I’m trying to help.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

gaelle231's avatar

I am interest in tasting something either sweet or salted

kevbo's avatar

Many times with problems like these, simply being observant to the thought and the behavior is enough.

“I want to eat.”

“Wait, I’m not really hungry.”

“What can I do instead of eating? What can replace the thought of ‘I want to eat?’”

When the person forgets and eats anyway, the key is not to become critical, but to simply make the observation of the habit and return to observing thoughts and behaviors.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I do want food. This doesn’t do it for me

Facade's avatar

I don’t see anything wrong with snacking. Tell your friend to try substituting healthy things for unhealthy ones.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Facade: they’ve got the healthy thing down pretty well with tiny vegetable nibbles, nuts and cheese chunks but I wonder if there’s a way they can move away from the need to constantly be carrying around munchies and chewing. It’s a human friend, btw.

Facade's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Why would they want to stop a good habit? It’s keeping their metabolism high and giving them nutrients.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Facade: if it was snacking between meals to take the edge off and maintain their blood sugar, that’d be one thing but this person is eating compulsively all day long and almost all night long. I don’t say anything too much because I see normal suggestions haven’t helped but wonder what food tricks other people do to distract themselves.

Facade's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Ohh, so they’re like addicted to food? I don’t know what to do about that, sorry.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’m with kevbo on this one. I find that substituting a hit off the crack pipe for a calorie laden snack really knocks the edge off of my hunger pangs.

miasmom's avatar

Chewing gum sometimes helps me.

Mostly though, the best thing is if I am busy and not thinking about food.

Having a really good support group also helps me and realizing that it’s ok to eat when I am hungry and that I will get hungry again, I just need to wait a few hours.

charliecompany34's avatar

chew tobacco or gum. .

gailcalled's avatar

^^throat and tongue cancers are among the nastiest of a nasty illness.

Try flavored ice water…fresh crushed mint, freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, a T of concentrated organic cherry or Concord grape juice…not all at once.

basp's avatar

I keep my hands busy with something that won’t allow me to snack. I used to snack when I watched tv. Now I crochette while watching tv. I used to snack when I first got home from work. Now I take a quick bike ridearound the neighborhood during that time.
I try to snack healthy, but I’m really not as dilligent as I should be so doing things that keep me from snacking is my best strategy.

emilia_eclaire's avatar

I don’t know if your friend is also trying to lose weight, but either way, Slimfast Optima is a good solution to abating hunger for several hours. I drink the shakes, and they are filling and keep you full for about four hours. They are “meal substitutes” but are only 180 calories. Much better than needlessly pigging out in front of the tube for an hour. They are a bit pricey but there are also generic alternatives that are a bit cheaper.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@emilia_eclaire- they are supposed to be trying to lose weight because they’re now diabetic (caused by being too heavy) and a little part of me suspects they’re using the need to stabilize their blood sugar as an excuse to constantly be chewing something. The one thing just makes the other worse, it seems. I’ve tried pitching the drinking of liquids as a safe filler and to aid digestion of whatever else they eat but it didn’t go over very well.

KalWest's avatar


Tough call = cause they really have to admit there’s a problem and not make excuses, In general – for me at least – I find that if I keep up a workout schedule of at least 4 days a week – it’s easier for me to deal with bad food cavings. If i start slacking off and skipping the gym – the cravings become more difficult to resist. Don’t know why exactly – but that’s how it wqrks for me

freakusmcgee's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Eating compulsively all day long, the way you describe it, sounds like it could be addictive behavior or disordered eating. The way you’ve described the problem, it doesn’t sound like just offering useful advice on how to keep from being hungry might not be enough – it seems like your friend may be eating as a way to escape from problems or deal with stress. Perhaps your friend might benefit from seeing a counselor or therapist.

In answer to your question, for me it really depends on the kind of hunger. If you pay attention to your body for a while, you’ll notice that you have many different kinds of hunger. If it’s just a desire to eat, chewing something helps, or I’ll have a small snack (to satisfy the need for tastiness) along with a lot of water, tea or coffee (to fill up my stomach). Sometimes, I get hungry because I’m craving something particular, like protein, and listening to my body has taught me how to know what that feels like and how to resolve it.

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