There's something about food that serves as a code for our true needs beyond physical nourishment. Each of us must learn to decipher our own code.
Start by recognizing when you have the desire to eat and asking yourself "Am I physically hungry?" If yes, give yourself permission to eat intuitively and mindfully.
If no, you are likely emotionally hungry. Now it's time to play detective. The type of food you're craving may be a representation of your emotional needs. Here are some common examples:
- Ice cream might represent a need for sweetness, soothing, comfort, lightheartedness.
- Chips/crackers (crunchy food) may represent feelings of frustration or anger, and potentially the need for boundaries. In the wise words of Dr. Michael Berrett, "Anger is an emotion of self respect."
- Hot food (pasta, casseroles, mashed potatoes, etc.) may represent a need for comfort, warmth, relaxation, or satisfaction.
These may not apply to you though, as your needs are unique, as is your relationship with food. Be curious, explore.