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At the most basic level, losing weight comes down to calories in versus calories out – you need to burn more than you consume. Eating when you’re not hungry is a quick passage to over-consuming calories.

The number one reason why most people gain weight is because they eat too much. It doesn't come down to the minute details like meal frequency, meal timings, protein, carbohydrate and fat ration, they type of training you do – it really is all about calories.

A really common way of over-consuming calories is by eating when you’re not hungry.

Being hungry is a basic human instinct, and is a sign that our bodies need sustenance to fuel us until our next meal comes along. But so many people eat when they’re not hungry, racking up excess calories on a daily basis, and pretty soon, they’re 20 pounds heavier and wondering where it all went wrong.

Eating for the sake of eating, rather than to satisfy your hunger is a surefire way to completely wreck your diet. There’s always a reason why you eat when you’re not hungry though, so the key is to find out these reasons, and knock them on the head as soon as possible.

Boredom

If you ask those who always eat when they’re not hungry what times they usually delve into the cookie tin or race to the nearest vending machine or candy cupboard, you’ll probably hear two answers come up pretty regularly:

- “At my desk”
- “Watching TV in the evenings”

Both of these times have two things in common:

They’re when you’re sitting around, probably quite bored and with nothing else to occupy your mind, and nothing physical to get you moving.

Eating is a way we can prevent the onset of boredom as it gives our brain and body something to do.

Habit

You can be so stuck in your ways with your meal patterns that eating can become more of a ritual, rather than something you do to serve a purpose and provide energy. How many times have you seen that the clock’s it 10am and thought “It’s time for my morning snack” or got home from work and automatically reached into the fridge for something?

In both these scenarios, there’s no way you can actually be hungry, but eating at certain times of day can be so ingrained into your routine that it’s hard to break from them.

Not Eating the Right Foods

You can eat exactly the same amount of calories in two different meals, yet one can leave you feeling full for hours, while the other can cause you to feel ravenous within thirty minutes. It’s not always just about calories – a lot of the time the quality of your food and the types of thing you eat play a big role in your hunger patterns.

Cravings

We’ve all had these when dieting and they can be horrid.

Deep down you know that you don’t need to eat anything, but it feels like certain “vice” foods are calling to you, almost begging to be eaten. Despite the fact you’re completely full, you dig in anyway and within a few swift moments you’ve had another 500 calories.

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