Intuitive eating is about so much more than just eating what you want, when you're hungry and stopping when you're full. What do you do if a food just SOUNDS good?! In this post we'll talk about what "taste hunger" is and what you should do about it.
What Taste Hunger Is
Essentially, taste hunger is when you're not feeling biologically hungry, but you're wanting to eat a food. So, let's take a real life example for me right now. I'm sitting in my breakfast nook drinking my coffee, I'm not actually feeling hunger cues, I'm pretty neutral on the hunger scale, maybe even still a little full. But.... I've got some of my fave blueberry protein muffins sitting on the counter and boy, do those sound good! That would be an example of taste hunger. Wanting to eat something because it sounds good.
What To Do About Taste Hunger
If you have a strong craving for something, allow yourself to eat it. Suppressing out hunger, even taste hunger, will backfire and cause us to binge eat later on.
If you're in the beginning stages of letting go of your food rules this is SUPER important. Your body is wanting to eat ALL of the foods it hasn't been allowed when you were dieting, kinda as a test to you. Like "Is she reallllly telling me I can eat whatever I want?!" This. does die off once it realizes "Man, yeah I can. And having muffins on muffins doesn't feel super fab. I'll tone down those cravings."
You may also be experiencing extreme hunger if you're in the beginning stages. I have an entire post on extreme hunger so be sure to check that out. But, basically, your body is playing "catch up" from previously not getting enough foods or enough of the right types of foods. And sometimes in order to do that this taste hunger comes out.
Now, if you're like "Colleen, I don't feel like I have strong hunger cues so this is so hard!" Don't worry, I've got you covered. You can learn how to get hunger cues here!
Using Mindful Eating
Practicing mindful eating when feeling taste hunger is huge. This will help you prevent getting to the point of "Holy crap I'm so full and uncomfortable!" It will allow you to yes, satisfy that craving, but maybe sometimes you don't need the whole muffin if you're not hungry, maybe you do. Mindful eating will help with this so you can walk always still feeling as best as possible.
I have blog post where I rounded up my top 10 mindful eating exercises, but the quick-and-dirty is: you should be able to describe the food to someone after you ate it. This means that you should know what it looked like, smelled like, tasted like, etc. This will help from getting too full. Maybe you realize halfway through that "Man... this isn't as stellar as I thought it was going to be, I'm done."
Taste Or Boredom Hunger?
Now, one other super important piece is what if you're eating because it's just something to DO?! I've been there! Raising my hand over here! Sometimes this is the case and we just start to eat out of habit almost. This is different than taste hunger. I talk more about this in a couple of posts like this on on how to stop boredom eating and this one on what to do if you're not hunger but want to eat. I use what I call an "emotional eating algorithm" to help you decide what to do. Check that out and screen shot it, it's a keeper of a tool!
I hope this post on taste hunger was helpful. Let me know in the comments if it was and if there are any other topics you want to see me cover!
Happy food rule breaking!
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