Are You Hungry or Just Snacking?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. For her work, she often has small social gatherings, for which she provides snacks and drinks. We were talking about healthy snacks versus unhealthy snacks; she said that when she puts out things that are healthy, people don’t eat them.

Since her business is not directly health-related, she might not want to try to make a statement with her choices in snacks. Having good cookies might be part of what keeps business coming (though I would hope not). And the cookies she buys are really good.

However, most of the time, people will eat snack food that is served just because it’s there. Maybe it’s tasty. Maybe it’s just OK. But it’s there and so, without thinking too much about it, it gets eaten.

Typically not so with healthier foods. I saw it happen: set out a plate of cookies and a plate of apples. Which plate is empty first?

If you are legitimately hungry, you will likely eat what is available (assuming no allergies and that something available is palatable).

If you are not actually hungry, you’ll probably eat the junk food. And if there is no junk food, you just won’t eat.

(Of course, if you’re hungry and both are available, it will more depend on your habits than anything else. I was with a few ladies one evening and none of us had had dinner. There were fresh veggies, hummus, and cookies available. Some of us ate the veggies and hummus; some of us ate the cookies.)

Likewise, at home, when you go to the fridge for the fourth time in half an hour and are disappointed that the same food is there β€” are you hungry or bored?

If you want to stop eating junk food, the simplest way is not to be in proximity to junk food. Don’t keep it in the house. Don’t go to places that serve it. If you were a patron of my friend’s business and you didn’t want to partake in the cookies, you would sit across the room from the table β€” not right next to it. Eventually, it becomes a habit to make healthy choices.

Do you eat whenever there’s food available, or do you mainly eat when you’re hungry? Would you eat the veggies or the cookies?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Trisha on 13 August 2012 at 18:09

    I have done all of the above. Because of that I do my best to gauge how hungry I am. I tend to find that very often I may be thirsty and after drinking my bottle of water, I have no need for the snack in front of me. I have also been better at bringing my own snacks to meetings, whether or not some will be provided. Thanks to you, I’ve become quite the picky eater. πŸ™‚ It’s really important to me to put good stuff in my body and I tend not to trust the snack buyers at my school. πŸ™‚

    • Yes to thirst! Often times, we think we’re hungry, when really, we just need a big glass of water. Or chai πŸ˜‰

      If there wasn’t so much flat-out shitty food available, we wouldn’t need to be so picky! Snack-buyers at school are the WORST!

      Happy to help cause some pickiness πŸ˜‰

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