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Weight Loss
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Why do I want to eat even though I'm not hungry?

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I'm doing it again.  I ate lunch--half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I am full.  I have the other half in the refrigerator and I can't stop thinking about it.  How do I stop thinking about eating when I'm not hungry?

I know I don't do it when I'm busy, but I'm bored at work.  I can't go for a walk, or exercise, I'm stuck here at my desk.  What do I do?
9 Replies (last)
I always have that same dam problem. I have a system though and it really seems to help.

First thing when I wake up I have a cup of Veggy juice. Then at work I eat a cup of plain oatmeal. Around 10:30 I eat my All-Bran Bar, then for lunch I have one of those flavored cans of tuna 6 stoned wheat thins and an apple, slowly eating it over an hour. Then around two I have a Lipton Cup of soup and drink copious ammounts of tea and water. Then at home I have a few crackers and start on dinner. Around 6:30-7 We eat, then I have a beer, or some more crackers or something.

Always works out for me...

Also when im PMS'n I cant stop thinking about food (And sex. Dont ask.) So I just kinda give in a little bit for the week... I find myself less hungry durring my rag.

Hope that helps!

I know exactly what you mean too.  I'm not exactly sure why it happens, but I know that I tend to eat out of boredom.  Or when I know there's something delicious waiting for me (like for you, your sandwich in the fridge), I've actually been known to throw away the tempting food.  For example, a few months ago a co-worker brought back a brownie for me from a small event.  I had no one to share it with, so I had a few bites (what I estimated would be about a serving), and tried to set it aside.  I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I finally picked it up and threw it away.  Like turning off a light bulb, I didn't worry about the food anymore.

Over time, eating healthy and exercising has actually helped me to not feel this urge so much.  I think a big part of getting healthy is really about forming a better relationship with food and our bodies, so it's been easier to decline treats that aren't nutritionally useful (but I definitely still have little indulgences as it's not mentally healthy to deny ourselves all the time, right?).

I'm not sure if this really helps, but I wanted you to know that you're definitely not alone! actually are hungry

half a peanut butter sandwich isnt a good lunch.
its all refined stuff for one. loaded with sugar and salt which makes you get the muchies (refined flour, sugar and salt do this)

you should add this to your lunch:
- favorite fruit - water, fiber and nutrients will make you feel satisfied

- cottage cheese or yogurt - fat from the dairy will make you feel fuller. fats eaten with every meal make them more satisfying.
calcium is good for you bones and they say weight loss/

you body is trying to get nourished. let it happen


hee hee

and if you dont take a multivitamin you should.
it helps with health, mood and hunger.
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I agree with maricmather...either only pack half a sandwich(so you don't waste food by throwing it out) or plan to eat it all. By letting it sit there you are setting yourself up for failure or at the very least, an annoyance. The other day I ran water over my leftover pizza, lol.

I have learned that I am not strong enough to let something I really want sit in my cupboards or fridge so I just don't buy it. If I REALLY NEED(not really a need but it feels like it at the time) it I will go out and buy it and usually I don't have the time or energy to do so.

When I grocery shop I literally think, "Am I going to be able to eat one(serving) at a time?". If the answer is no, I don't buy them. Usually it's something like cookies so I get the ones I don't LOVE but rather like a little bit so it will sooth my sweet tooth but I won't ravage the box of cookies.


I am in no way an expert so take this lightly but in my opinion things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are very similar to a candy bar, or cake and ice cream. Anything with loads of sugar in them you are unable to eat as much as you would like because of the high calorie count so you try to limit the amount you eat which is extremely difficult. A half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a very small amount of food so of course you would want to eat the entire thing it's delicious. Try to fill yourself up primarily with healthier food lower in calories and then eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich for desert and try eating one slice a bread with the bare minimum of peanut butter and jelly you can put on it and still enjoy it. By trying to be fulfilled from a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is really putting yourself in a difficult position to resist eating the whole thing.

Nobody is 'full' on half a sandwich. Not even my 4 year old. (He has half a sandwich, fruit and a small cereal bar/treat, and a small cup of milk in his school lunch.)

You're thinking about the other half because you ARE hungry...

Sometimes we think / feel that we are hungry but we are just thirsty! Some times I think I feel hungry between main meals but a cuppa usually does the trick. Or some home made ice tea with some lemon squeezed in summer. 

wwwilliam is right :) When I want to get a chocolate bar from the vending machine, or just feel like snacking, I always pause and check if I'm thirsty. More often than not, I am. :)

Another thing you could try is repeatedly think about eating what you have in mind. Sounds stupid, doesn't it ? ;) But researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University showed that if you visualize yourself eating M&Ms, one piece after the other, the desire to eat can entirely disappear, and, if you succumb to it, you will eat less M&Ms that you would have without this per-visualization of the snacking. This NY Times article explains the science in lay terms.

9 Replies