We all love to have a snack every now and then, but when you find yourself eating without even noticing it, you could be taking in too much. Whether it’s for emotional reasons or even just because you’re bored, this quiz can help you find out where your meals (or meals between meals) come from.
1. Your boss tells you she’s not happy with your work. You:
- Go to the cafeteria and comfort yourself with a snack from the vending machine
- Get on the phone and bad-mouth her to your friends
- Immediately make plans to become more focused on your work
2. Your 5-year-old son doesn’t finish supper. You:
- Eat the leftovers — good food should not go to waste
- Insist he finishes his meal
- Give the leftovers to the dog
3. When you’re bored, you:
- Head for the fridge — it’s snack time!
- Occasionally snack, but try to stick to fruit and veggies
- Call a friend, browse the Internet or find some way to stay busy
4. You’ve just eaten a bag of potato chips even though you weren’t hungry.
- Guilty, angry or ashamed
- You feel bad — but commit to not overeating the rest of the week
- You’re not too worried. Random snacking like this doesn’t happen often
5. You’ve joined a weight-loss group and lost weight this week. Feeling pleased, you:
- Treat yourself to your favourite foods — you deserve it
- Splurge on a new dress to show off your slimmer figure
- Use the news as motivation to keep working
6. How do you plan your family’s weekly meals?
- I have a busy family life. We have fast foods most days
- I usually plan for the week, but every now and then get quick and easy take-out
- I plan our meals and shop ahead
7. You are having trouble making a big decision about an important issue. You:
- Go out for a muffin and coffee — eating calms you and helps you come to a decision
- Write out pros and cons for different options, and then celebrate with a treat when you’ve come to a decision
- Work on something else — you’ll come to a decision later
8. Do you tend to graze all day long, never allowing yourself to really feel hungry?
- Almost always — I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry
- Sometimes, mostly when I’m bored
- Never. I eat three healthy meals a day
If You Answered Mostly As
You might be turning to food when you’re emotional. Break the cycle by listening to your body’s cues. If the urge to overindulge hits, do something else instead — like going for a walk. If you’re truly distressed about your situation, speak with your doctor.
If You Answered Mostly Bs
You are on the right track but occasionally turn to food for comfort. Food should be pleasurable — be careful not to overdo it. To develop healthier habits, write down what you eat and why.
If You Answered Mostly Cs
You’re a healthy eater and deal appropriately with emotions.
Help for Overcoming Emotional Eating
- Try to get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation tends to increase hunger by decreasing the appetite-regulating hormone that signals fullness.
- Find alternatives to eating: Go for a walk or try a form of relaxation such as yoga.
- Beat boredom by finding a new hobby or revisiting an old one
- Volunteer: You’ll most likely be staying active while helping others, too!
- Don’t bottle up your emotions — learn to speak your mind.
- Exercise: Research shows that working out helps relieve stress and makes you feel good about yourself.
- Drink water: Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.