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Head Hunger – Are You Really Hungry?

Have you ever found yourself looking in the fridge or eating shortly after a large meal, almost as if you hadn’t just eaten? We all have once in a while and for most of us, this phenomenon is called head hunger. Head hunger is a mental, rather than physical, hunger that can be triggered by a variety of factors. Common causes can include emotions, visual stimulation and dehydration.

There is what looks a delicious meal or amazing sweet treat in just about every food advertisement – on TV, in a magazine or even in the grocery store itself. Advertising and marketing can certainly make you head hungry, even if you are physically full. Ultimately, the purpose of the commercial is to make you think about food and get you to buy the product. Dehydration is another cause of “mistaken hunger.” Sometimes we eat when we are actually thirsty.

So what to do?

Emotions are also a big trigger of head hunger. Feelings such as boredom, loneliness or sadness are stressful and we comfort ourselves with food. Happy times often call for celebratory food too. Unfortunately, eating when your body isn’t hungry only adds extra calories to your diet and does little to relieve our problems. Even a few bites, several times a day, can cause a great deal of weight gain (or hinder your weight loss) over the long-term.

So always take a second and think about what you’re eating and why you are eating it. You’ll be much more successful after surgery as a result.

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