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Try This: Hunger Check

boy with fork and knifeThinking about getting a snack? Want a second helping? Here are some things to ask yourself before you eat. The idea is make sure you're really hungry -- that you need to eat to give your body energy. This is called being physically hungry. 

Sometimes people eat just because there is more food on the table or because they are tired or sad or bored. By asking yourself these questions before you eat, you can help find out if you're really hungry because your body needs fuel or if you just feel hungry for other reasons.

Am I Really Hungry?

Before you eat, ask yourself these questions:

1. Has it been a few hours since I last ate?



Your body needs energy from food every few hours.

2. Drink a glass of water. Wait 20 to 30 minutes. Then ask yourself, "Am I still hungry?"



Sometimes you may think you are hungry. Then when you drink a glass of water, you realize you were just thirsty.

3. Would drinking a glass of milk or eating a piece of fruit make my hunger go away?



Any food will help you feel better when you are really hungry, physically hungry. If you're not hungry enough to eat a piece of fruit, then you can probably wait a while to eat.

Did you answer "yes" to any of these questions? If so, chances are you are physically hungry.

Did you answer "no" to any of these questions? If so, you may not be physically hungry. You may be trying to fix another problem -- like feeling sad or stressed -- with food. Food can't fix feelings.

What Do I Need to Feel Better?

If you answered "no" to any of the questions about hunger, ask yourself these questions. They can help you figure out why you're hungry and how to fix it.

1. What feeling do I have?









2. What can I do to help solve my feeling? What do I need to feel better? (Check any of these that you think might help. Or write down two other ideas.)

Play a game.

Go outside.

Call a friend.

Talk to a family member.

Start the thing that I'm avoiding -- cleaning my room, doing my homework, or practicing my instrument.

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