It's meal time. You're lookin' in the fridge and then it hits you... you're hungry but NOTHING sounds good. Giiiiiirl, have I been there and feel your frustration. This post will tell you exactly how to handle this situation so that you can feel confident in your food choice and avoid overeating way past fullness as you search the pantry for something to "hit the spot".
Understanding practical hunger
So, the first question here is SHOULD you eat when you're hungry but nothing sounds good? My answer is usually yes. Our bodies need consistent, adequate energy in order to function optimally and to prevent over eating in the future. I always talk about the hunger scale (You can snag a copy in my free e-book, The Ultimate 5 Step Guide To Food Freedom) and it's super important to prevent extremes- extreme hunger or extreme fullness. Cause, I mean, you just don't feel great when either of those happen, am I right?
When we DO experience that more extreme side of the hunger scale, that HANGER, we're setting ourselves up to over eat and, again, not feel fabulous. And if we skip meals, that's what will usually happen. So, while it might be temping to just say "screw it" and skipping a meal, it's usually a good idea to at least have SOMETHING. This is using practical hunger, deciding to do what's best for you body.
What to eat when you're hungry but nothing sounds good
Now that we've determined it's a good idea to have something to eat when you're hungry but nothing sounds good the question is WHAT will that be? If you're totally impartial to what you eat, like, literally nothing sounds good. I suggest trying to put something together that will give you carb, protein, and fat. So, instead of having a slice of toast, maybe throw a scrambled egg with cheese on it. Or, instead of just having a greek yogurt, throw in some granola for carb. This combo will give your body the nutrition it needs and prevent feeling hungry soon after eating.
For loads more rule-free meal planning ideas be sure to checkout the No Food Rules Meal Planning Guide which has over 23 of my personal favorite meal and snack ideas that taste delicious and satisfy!
If something does sound good, but you don't have it on hand ask yourself "Could I go get it?" If it's an easy grab then feel free to go get it. But if not, sometimes we have to be okay with foods that aren't exactly what we're wanting in the moment, like when we're out to eat or being served food without being able to choose.
Being full but not satisfied
Okay, so now you've eaten your meal but are still feeling "meh". Your tummy is feeling more full than before eating but you're not super satisfied, still feeling like you're missing something to hit the spot. What you do here will depend on a couple things:
- Do you now know what would hit the spot?
- Are you still feeling like nothing sounds good, but want to feel that super satisfying feeling after a mind-blowing meal?
Sometimes, after eating we now realize what WILL satisfy us. If this is you, you ate your meal and now have a clear idea of what DOES sound good, allow yourself to have a bite or two of that thing to get that satisfaction. If you still don't know, that's okay. What I would recommend in this instance is not to search the pantry for that thing that miiiiight do it, but might not. This will leave you feeling stuffed as well as mentally and physically uncomfortable from eating past fullness.
Instead, if you're still unsure, but you're tummy is full I recommend chalking the meal or snack up to practical hunger and moving on. Not every meal will be mind-blowing and that is OKAY! Sometimes, I will use an affirmation such as "I have so many more chances to have an amazing lunch! It's okay that today's wasn't fabulous. I'll move on from this rather than stew over it." This can help put you in the right mindset and get on with the rest of your day. If you want more affirmation ideas I have a great list of my top 10 intuitive eating affirmations that would be FAB for this situation!
Looking for a little more personalized guidance on how to adapt a life of no food rules in order to make eating easier, to think about food less and live more? I'm running ONE more group coaching program for 2019 and space is filling super fast. Be sure to pop on over to the No Food Rules group coaching page to learn more and apply. This group will run through the holidays and into the New Year- the perfect time to have a fabulous support system to help you through this time that can be so difficult when it comes to food!
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