3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Eating That Food You Really Want to Eat

by Suzanne Hiscock
When it comes to overeating, you could be doing it for a variety of reasons. You find food comforting, you eat so fast your brain doesn’t get the signal that you’re full. Or you could be overeating out of habit.

One problem with overeating is that it stops you from reaching your weight loss goals. You can have the best intentions to eat better in order to lose weight. But if you’re eating mindlessly, your calorie intake will be over and above what you need to lose weight.

Instead of a calorie deficit, you create a calorie surplus. You gain weight instead of losing it.

You make split second decisions when it comes to eating a particular food or meal. If you’re tired or stressed, it’s even easier to eat mindlessly, unaware of -- or not caring about -- how many calories you’re eating.

What can help with overeating is taking the time to stop for just a few seconds and ask yourself these three questions.


1)  Am I Really Hungry?

Ask yourself whether you’re really hungry or is something else going on. Are you eating because you’re feeling stressed, sad or lonely? Are you celebrating something?

Use the hunger scale: how hungry are you, on a scale of 1 to 5  -- with 1 being, “Feed me now’ and 5 being “"burp* If I eat one more bite, I will explode!"

See:  9 Quick Fixes to Quiet Hunger Pangs

2)  Is it Healthy?

Is what you’re eating healthy or not?

Is there a way to make it healthier, either by adding vegetables or a lean protein, for example.

Or could you eat a smaller portion to make it healthier (thereby eating fewer calories)?

See: 6 Serving Sizes You Need to Get Right

3)  Will it Help Me Reach My Goals?

Is this going to help you move forward or take a step back? If it doesn’t help you reach your goals, can you do something to offset the damage? Can you work out a bit more? Eat a bit less at your next meal?

See: 7 Important Steps to Setting Your Weight Loss Goals

If the answer is Yes to all three, then it sounds like you’re eating mindfully -- and healthfully.

But, for many of us, the answer is often No to any of these three questions. You’re not hungry, the food isn’t healthy or it won’t help you reach your goals.

What happens next is totally up to you. There’s no such thing as the food police.

You could be celebrating your birthday by having a piece of cake. Or two.

You could be having a really bad day and you just want those fries.

That’s okay.

The point is that you’re making a conscious, informed choice of what to eat. You’re moving away from mindLESS eating and moving towards mindFUL eating.

Use the three H's:  Hungry? - Healthy? - Helpful?

By asking yourself these questions, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to make changes and create new eating habits. You give yourself a chance to move away from overeating.

Just give yourself a little pause to think, and you’ll find yourself making healthy decisions more often than unhealthy ones. 

Related Posts
How to Lose Weight When You Love to Eat
A Daily Eating Plan for Weight Loss

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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN L2 Certified Master Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 20 years, she's been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website, FitWatch.com.

And she’s really TRULY SORRY ABOUT THAT. You see, she didn’t realize she was contributing to diet culture; she just wanted to help people feel better. But losing weight isn’t the way to do it. She’s on a mission to change all that with an anti-diet approach. So, pardon the dust on the floor as the website gets revamped.