Hedonic Eating: Understanding Cravings for Hyper-Palatable Foods & How to Break the Cycle

how to stop hedonic eating: Why we crave foods high in fat, salt, sugar and carbs & how to stop the cycle of 'eating for pleasure'

When it comes to our relationship with food, there is more to eating than just satisfying our basic physiological hunger. Hedonic eating, for instance, describes the experience of reaching for food not for hunger but for pleasure. Reaching for foods high in fat, sugar, or carbohydrates (‘hyper-palatable’ or ‘hedonic’ foods) can be a symptom of this type of compulsive eating.

Especially when faced with a feeling of fullness without satisfaction, we can find some answers in the intriguing concepts of hedonic eating and hedonic hunger. These terms refer to the pleasure-driven aspect of eating, where the pursuit of sensory gratification and enjoyment takes center stage over basic physical hunger.

Understanding hedonic eating and hedonic hunger provides valuable insights into the complex interplay between our brains, our bodies, and the foods we choose to indulge in. In other words, it’s the perfect topic within eating psychology to dive deep into.

What Is Hedonic Eating?

how to stop hedonic eating: hedonic eating: the act of eating hyper-palatable foods (those high in fat, salt, carbs, and/or sugar) for pleasure instead of physical hunger

Hedonic eating is the act of eating for pleasure rather than for energy or true caloric needs. It involves seeking out ‘hyper-palatable foods1 — which are those high in fat, salt, sugar and carbs — solely for the sensory pleasure they provide.

Highly palatable foods often have a high “hedonic rating,”2 meaning they possess qualities that trigger intense pleasure and reward when eaten. Hedonic eating is driven by the desire to experience the enjoyable sensations associated with specific foods.

It could be the satisfying salty crunch of potato chips or the silky smooth mouthfeel of chocolate. If it’s pleasurable, it’s also hedonic.

The root word of “hedonic” is “hedon,” which comes from the Greek word “hēdonē,” meaning “pleasure” or “delight.” Hedonic eating is eating for pleasure.

What Is Hedonic Hunger?

how to stop hedonic eating: hedonic hunger: when hunger is not driven by the physiological need for sustenance and instead motivated by pleasure and reward cues

Hedonic hunger encompasses the drive to eat for pleasure in the absence of true physical hunger. It goes beyond the physiological need for sustenance and taps into the innate human desire for sensory pleasure. Individuals experiencing hedonic hunger are motivated to consume foods solely for the rewarding properties and the pleasurable experience they provide.

Understanding Hedonic Eating: 5 Evidence-Based Reasons Why We Eat for Pleasure

In my video above, I discuss what hedonic eating is and, more importantly, why it’s important to keep digging beyond this phenomenon. While hedonic eating is a powerful phenomenon, as you will soon learn, I like to view it as a secondary type of emotional eating.

Just like there is a primary emotion behind secondary emotions, there is another primary type of compulsive eating behind hedonic eating. This is what I’ve seen, at least, in my work as an eating psychology coach.

As you explore the interesting science below that discusses hedonic eating, be sure to read through to the end to discover the steps you can take to address your psychology. It is far more powerful to address the primary motivations underneath.

1. Hedonic Eating is Influenced by Reward Circuitry and Food Addiction

how to stop hedonic eating: dopamine makes hedonic foods feel good: foods high in fat, salt, sugar, or carbs trigger the release of dopamine, the 'feel good' chemical

At the heart of hedonic eating lies the brain’s reward circuitry, a complex network involved in the process of pleasure, motivation, and behavior reinforcement. When we consume highly palatable foods, this circuitry is activated. This leads to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

Studies3 have highlighted the overlap between hedonic eating and food addiction. The research suggests that overeating hyper-palatable foods can induce changes in the brain’s reward circuitry, similar to what is observed in substance abuse. These alterations can drive addiction-like behaviors, leading to compulsive consumption of high-reward, hedonic foods.

When we consume foods high in fat, salt, sugar, or carbs, our brain releases a “feel good” chemical called dopamine. This plays into the brain’s reward circuitry and activates the same parts of the brain involved in addiction to psychoactive drugs. This is the essence of food addiction.

If you’re interested in the brain science behind it, one key element involved in hedonic eating is the mesolimbic dopamine pathway.4 This includes areas of the brain involved in reward circuitry such as the ventral tegmental area5 and the nucleus accumbens.6

These areas of the brain responsible for reward and reinforcement become activated7 by the consumption of hedonic foods — reinforcing the desire to eat these foods and perpetuating the cycle of hedonic eating. Clinical evidence8 supports the theory of food addiction.

Keep in mind that the steps addressed later in this article are, in my experience, powerful enough to overcome the addictive qualities of hedonic foods. Before we get there, the science is interesting enough that we must keep digging.

2. Hormones and Peptides Reinforce the Desire to ‘Eat for Pleasure’

how to stop hedonic eating: humans are wired for hedonic eating: many hormones and peptides reinforce the desire for pleasurable foods

Within the realm of hedonic eating, certain hormones and peptides come into play — especially those associated with pleasure. One notable player is ghrelin, often referred to as the “hunger hormone.”

Although primarily associated with appetite regulation, studies9 have revealed that hedonic foods increase ghrelin. This suggests that our physical hunger begins to increase along with hedonic hunger, further reinforcing the pattern and even blurring the line between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

Endocannabinoids, another group of compounds, also contribute to hedonic eating. These naturally occurring compounds interact with receptors in the brain involved in appetite regulation and the regulation of reward pathways.

Specifically, the compound in the brain linked to appetite regulation, mood regulation, and hedonic eating is the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol9 (2-AG). Research has shown that the consumption of food for pleasure is accompanied by elevated levels of both ghrelin and 2-AG, indicating their involvement in the pleasurable aspects of eating.

In other words, there are various hormones and chemicals within the body that respond to the consumption of hedonic foods to further reinforce and motivate the desire to eat for pleasure.

3. Hedonic Eating Is Just as Much the Avoidance of Stress as the Pursuit of Pleasure

how to stop hedonic eating: seeking pleasure & avoiding stress: hedonic eating is the act of both

Stress, both acute and chronic, has a significant impact on hedonic eating. When we experience stress, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol, which can influence our food choices and increase our susceptibility to hedonic eating behaviors.

Research10 indicates that our response to stress is related to hedonic eating. Specifically, individuals exposed to chronic stress may be more prone to seek out high-reward foods as a coping mechanism to alleviate negative emotions and enhance mood.

Stress can disrupt the balance of hormones involved in appetite regulation, such as leptin, the “fullness hormone,” and ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” This can lead to imbalanced hunger and satiety signals and an increased drive for hedonic eating as the desire for pleasure and satisfaction overrides the body’s natural regulatory mechanisms.

4. The Hyper-Availability of Hyper-Palatable Foods

how to stop hedonic eating: hedonic foods are physically abundant: when hyper-palatable foods are hyper-available, it can feel like an uphill battle

Additionally, the prevalence of hedonic foods in our modern food environment plays a significant role in hedonic eating behaviors. The food industry has capitalized on the hedonic appeal of certain foods by creating foods that are intentionally engineered to be hyper-palatable, irresistibly appealing, and therefore addictive.

Think of the Grand Mac, which is like a Big Mac but even bigger. At 860 calories, it contains more energy than one’s physical hunger might require. (Unless you haven’t eaten all day or worked out intensely — and in either case you should eat exactly what appeals to you when you’re hungry for the best chances of stopping compulsive eating.)

The Grand Mac’s high fat, salt, and carbohydrate content makes it hyper-palatable. McDonald’s even adds sugar unnecessarily to their foods, with the Grand Mac clock in 9 grams of sugar, to increase the hedonic impact of their food. Why does a burger need sugar?

Fast food chains like McDonald’s use their ads to stimulate hedonic hunger. Then their product provides all the makings of hyper-palatable foods to increase the likelihood of food addiction so that we keep coming back for more.

Foods that combine high levels of fat, sugar, and salt stimulate the brain’s reward circuitry and trigger intense pleasure and cravings. It’s not just in your head — Big Macs taste really good.

In my work as an eating psychology coach, however, I’ve found that most people that struggle with compulsive eating have enough willpower to resist the hedonic nature of foods, even though they taste really good. This topic comes up so often in my work that I created an entire YouTube video about it:

I hope it convinces you that, while hedonic foods are tasty and irresistible, once you address your psychology, what’s irresistible becomes resistible.

5. Dieting Is Not an Effective Nor Sustainable Solution to Hedonic Eating

how to stop hedonic eating: diets don't work: clinical evidence strongly supports this

No one can blame us for falling into the hype of hyper-palatable foods. They are abundantly available in our society with fast food chains located on practically every street corner in urban areas. This is closely tied to why diets often fail in the long term.

When individuals engage in strict dieting or food restriction, they create a sense of scarcity and deprivation. This triggers biological and psychological responses that work against the desired outcome of weight loss.

Research11 has shown that when food intake is restricted, the “hunger hormone” ghrelin increases, resulting in intense cravings for foods that are high-calorie (i.e. often hedonic). This hormonal response is the body’s way of trying to ensure survival in times of food scarcity.

Consequently, the more individuals restrict their food intake, the more they crave hedonic food. This biological mechanism reinforces the cycle of hedonic eating, making it difficult to adhere to diets in the long term.

Clinical evidence12 strongly suggests that diets not only fail to promote sustained weight loss but can also increase the chance of weight gain. The linear “calories in, calories out” concept often employed by diets oversimplifies the complex mechanisms of the human body.

Dietary restriction sets off a cascade of biological processes that increase cravings for hedonic foods, intensify the desire for these foods, and perpetuate the restrict-binge cycle.

In the face of the hyper-availability of hyper-palatable foods, focusing solely on restrictive dieting is an unsustainable approach. This is why I prefer to focus on the psychological reasons for overeating in my line of work. Eating psychology is far more powerful and effective than dieting.

How to Stop Hedonic Eating Using Psychology

Now that we have explored the various factors contributing to hedonic eating, it’s time to delve into strategies for overcoming this pattern and developing a healthier relationship with food. By focusing on psychology and addressing the underlying motivations, you can find effective ways to stop hedonic eating.

1. Cultivate Joy and Pleasure Beyond Food

how to stop hedonic eating: find joy outside of food: instead of resisting pleasurable foods, find joy in other nourishing activities

One powerful approach to combating hedonic eating is to shift your focus towards finding joy and pleasure in areas of life beyond food. Hedonic eating often stems from a desire to experience pleasure and satisfaction. By actively nurturing activities, relationships, and experiences that bring you joy, you can reduce the reliance on food for emotional fulfillment.

Take the time to identify the sources of joy in your life, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies, exploring nature, or pursuing creative endeavors. These activities can provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, offering alternative pathways to experience pleasure outside of food.

Not only is it emotionally fulfilling to find joy outside of food, but joyful activities can also stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for reward and reinforcement. This way, you’re not actively resisting hedonic foods. Instead you’re replacing the trigger in the “feel good” reward cycle.

2. Stop Making Hedonic Foods Off-Limits

how to stop hedonic eating: allow all foods: if resisting hedonic foods leads to eating more of it, what happens when we allow all food?

When we view hedonic foods as off-limits or forbidden, it increases our preoccupation with these foods. When restriction is pushed too far, we may begin to feel like we’re always thinking about food.

Studies13 have even illustrated this phenomenon. When we make certain foods off-limits, we are more inclined to desire them.

Rather than viewing hedonic foods as off-limits or “bad,” it can be helpful to shift your mindset and give yourself permission to enjoy them when you’re physically hungry. Restricting your favorite foods often leads to increased cravings and a sense of deprivation, fueling the cycle of hedonic eating.

Many of us are afraid of gaining weight if we indulge in hedonic foods, and past experiences may reinforce this fear. As explained earlier, when we restrict our diet, we slow our metabolism and increase the desire for hedonic foods. Then, when we inevitably eat them, due to the reliable restrict-binge cycle, we have not yet healed our metabolism, which increases the likelihood of the very thing we are afraid of: weight gain.

Instead of perpetuating this frustrating experience, it can help to allow all foods and make sure to eat when you’re physically hungry and stop when you’re full. In my experience, the latter part is the hardest; and I have plenty of tools that can help such as my Stop, Drop, & Feel®️ method to stop binge eating. Due to the length of this article, I won’t delve into it here, but know that it’s an effective resource.

3. Address Any Limiting Beliefs Around Food and Social Dynamics

how to stop hedonic eating: do the inner work: addressing your psychology can give you the strength to overcome the biological effect of hedonic foods

By exploring the evidence-based factors that drive hedonic eating, you have gained valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms behind this phenomenon. However, understanding alone is not enough to break free from the cycle of compulsive eating. It is through targeted psychological interventions that we can truly transform our relationship with food.

This is where my digital workbook, Why We Do the Things We Do, can help. It is designed to help you dig into the subconscious reasons for self-sabotage around food.

Why We Do the Things We Do is my most popular offering. Through prompts, examples, and introspective exercises, this workbook helps you identify and challenge the limiting beliefs that trigger self-sabotage around food. By shining a light on these hidden beliefs, you can gain clarity. After all, we cannot heal what we cannot see.

Getting Back to Feeling Normal Around Food

Our relationship with food is a complex dance between our physiological needs, psychological motivations, and societal influences. Understanding the concept of hedonic eating and hedonic hunger provides valuable insights into why we reach for certain foods solely for pleasure, even when our bodies are not physically hungry.

However, it is important to remember that we have the power to transform our relationship with food. By cultivating joy and pleasure beyond food, giving ourselves permission to enjoy hedonic foods in moderation, and addressing any limiting beliefs around food and social dynamics, we can break free from the restrict-binge cycle and develop a healthier approach to eating.

This article is by far one of my most popular. Originally written in 2019, I had a lot of fun updating it for 2023 with so much clinical evidence. If you were intrigued by what you read, you’re a great fit for my unique approach to stopping compulsive eating called Psycho-Spiritual Wellness. Learn all about it by downloading the free ebook below. It explains everything.

  1. Fazzino TL, Rohde K, Sullivan DK. Hyper-Palatable Foods: Development of a Quantitative Definition and Application to the US Food System Database. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Nov;27(11):1761-1768. doi: 10.1002/oby.22639. PMID: 31689013.
  2. Espel-Huynh HM, Muratore AF, Lowe MR. A narrative review of the construct of hedonic hunger and its measurement by the Power of Food Scale. Obes Sci Pract. 2018 Feb 28;4(3):238-249. doi: 10.1002/osp4.161. PMID: 29951214; PMCID: PMC6009994.
  3. Leigh SJ, Morris MJ. The role of reward circuitry and food addiction in the obesity epidemic: An update. Biol Psychol. 2018 Jan;131:31-42. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.12.013. Epub 2016 Dec 21. PMID: 28011401.
  4. Alcaro A, Huber R, Panksepp J. Behavioral functions of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system: an affective neuroethological perspective. Brain Res Rev. 2007 Dec;56(2):283-321. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.07.014. Epub 2007 Aug 21. PMID: 17905440; PMCID: PMC2238694.
  5. Cai J, Tong Q. Anatomy and Function of Ventral Tegmental Area Glutamate Neurons. Front Neural Circuits. 2022 May 20;16:867053. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2022.867053. PMID: 35669454; PMCID: PMC9164627.
  6. Salgado S, Kaplitt MG. The Nucleus Accumbens: A Comprehensive Review. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2015;93(2):75-93. doi: 10.1159/000368279. Epub 2015 Feb 18. PMID: 25720819.
  7. Blechert J, Klackl J, Miedl SF, Wilhelm FH. To eat or not to eat: Effects of food availability on reward system activity during food picture viewing. Appetite. 2016 Apr 1;99:254-261. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Jan 18. PMID: 26796027.
  8. Pandit R, Mercer JG, Overduin J, la Fleur SE, Adan RA. Dietary factors affect food reward and motivation to eat. Obes Facts. 2012;5(2):221-42. doi: 10.1159/000338073. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PMID: 22647304.
  9. Monteleone P, Piscitelli F, Scognamiglio P, Monteleone AM, Canestrelli B, Di Marzo V, Maj M. Hedonic eating is associated with increased peripheral levels of ghrelin and the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol in healthy humans: a pilot study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;97(6):E917-24. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-3018. Epub 2012 Mar 22. PMID: 22442280.
  10. Morris MJ, Beilharz JE, Maniam J, Reichelt AC, Westbrook RF. Why is obesity such a problem in the 21st century? The intersection of palatable food, cues and reward pathways, stress, and cognition. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2015 Nov;58:36-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.12.002. Epub 2014 Dec 10. PMID: 25496905.
  11. Tschöp M, Smiley DL, Heiman ML. Ghrelin induces adiposity in rodents. Nature. 2000 Oct 19;407(6806):908-13. doi: 10.1038/35038090. PMID: 11057670.
  12. Lowe MR, Doshi SD, Katterman SN, Feig EH. Dieting and restrained eating as prospective predictors of weight gain. Front Psychol. 2013 Sep 2;4:577. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00577. PMID: 24032024; PMCID: PMC3759019.
  13. Mann T, Ward A. Forbidden fruit: does thinking about a prohibited food lead to its consumption? Int J Eat Disord. 2001 Apr;29(3):319-27. doi: 10.1002/eat.1025. PMID: 11262512.

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30 thoughts on "Hedonic Eating: Understanding Cravings for Hyper-Palatable Foods & How to Break the Cycle"

  1. Sandrasays:

    Hello! I’m a binge eater. Overweight, diets not working. I k ow what to do to loose but wont do it. Call it menopause, divorce, depression – what ever – I’m still sick and tired of this weight. I do fine at home it’s when I visit my daughter, mother or at work! I can’t say no to mom, and I stress eat at work.
    Thank you for your articles, I’m hoping to change my mind set.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Sandra! Thanks for sharing your story. I think a lot of people can relate to you!! I’d like to hone in on one thing you said here, in case it helps others. Not being able to say no to mom seems like a boundary issue, or an emotional tolerance issue. If you have a loving relationship with your mother, then she should be OK if you say, “No thanks, I’m full. But I love you. Thanks for offering.” If you can’t say that, get curious about why. Is it guilt? Is it shame? Then, can you make space for that feeling? Can you hold space for the discomfort? Also, try having an open conversation with her about how you feel about food. I hope this helps!! xoxo

  2. Hsays:

    This does not work at all! Letting yourself have the food leads to binging, plain and simple. Just because it may have worked for you doesn’t mean it works for others. I gained over a hundred pounds by letting myself have unrestricted access.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thanks for sharing Hayley. I’m sorry things are rough right now. I hope you’re familiar with the eating guidelines and the Stop, Drop, and Feel. Psycho-Spiritual Wellness is a system. Hopefully you’re not cherry picking the permission part and leaving the rest behind. I don’t encourage unrestricted access and that’s all. There’s a lot more that goes into it. Sending you best wishes.

  3. Kellysays:

    This is so helpful! I’ve been searching for years for something that makes sense and when I read the part about hedonistic eating it made totally sense! I’ve struggled for over 10 years to understand why I eat the way I do and why i pick specific food. I can definetely relate to the need to create joy and I’ve applied for the ebook. Thank you for writing this you have no idea the impact and I’m so grateful x

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thank you so much Kelly! I am sooo glad it helps!

  4. Kellysays:

    me right now finishing my box of cake while reading this…

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      The journey starts with self-understanding 😉

  5. Galesays:

    I’m finding your insights extremely helpful right now! I’ve tried to be more aware of the feelings, tried not to numb them, and have NOT had to go to stretch pants during this pandemic. Thanks you!

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thanks so much Gale! I’m soooo happy to hear about your progress!! Keep it up 🙂

  6. Macarenasays:

    Hi Kari. I’m loving your content and would love to follow you on IG. However, I don’t get to find your account. Do you have one? How can I find you over there? 🙂

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Macarena! Thanks so much for the love! Sadly, I don’t have an IG account for Psycho-Spiritual Wellness. You can catch me on YouTube or, for the best stuff, my Tuesday Newsletters. <3

  7. Mariasays:

    My dear Kari,
    Thank you for changing my life!
    After all these years of binge and emotional eating, your articles and the way you justify every subject under discussion, sweetened my sadness and frustration. Your way of thinking is a gift for me.
    Stop ,Drop and Feel then !

    Thank you,
    I wish you all the best.


    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hello Maria! Thank you for this beautiful comment. I am glad you’re here! And I hope the SDF continues to help. Keep me posted on your progress ????

  8. Shoshanasays:

    Kari, thanks for this great article. I had never considered that I might need to find more sources of joy in my life in order to stop overeating. That’s a really fresh take that makes a lot of sense.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thanks for the comment Shoshana! I hope you’re able to find your joy and get lots of it 🙂

  9. Angela J Colesays:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to think of what brings me joy, and it’s love. I love my children, and watching them enjoy life brings me joy. I took my daughter to Boston, and took plenty of pictures of her having a good time exploring. Unfortunately, the entire time, I was thinking about food. I wanted to get ice cream. I didn’t do it, but I gazed longingly at every ice cream shop. We ended up stopping for milk tea and I had a frozen avocado milk tea that was pretty much a milk shake. I wanted to stop at every restaurant. I want to put food in my mouth ALL THE TIME even when I’m not hungry. I try to drink a lot of water, and I chew gum, and I get hot beverages like tea, that I can sip on for awhile. I would really like to not have this urge though. It’s eating just because I want the taste of food in my mouth. And it persists even when doing the things that bring me joy.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Angela! I’m sorry to hear about the incessant food noise going on in your head. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun. My recommendation (unsolicited, since you didn’t pose a question, but I can’t help myself) is to focus on the Stop, Drop, and Feel. Since you know what your joy is, then the next step is to look at the feelings that drive the compulsive thoughts around food. I hope this helps!

  10. Thiasays:

    Hi Kari, Finally! I love your program, wisdom, and approach. I’m 67 and I have been crazy around food for my entire life. Not feeling/eating and hedonic eating have been my MO. Now I’m asking myself what am I trying not to feel right now when I want food and I’m not hungry. It works! I find honoring my body and listening to what it wants, I’m drinking less coffee and wine and more water, I’m taking better care of myself and I’m learning about me every day. Thank you from the depths of my soul.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thank you Thia 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words, and I am sooo glad you’re gaining all this wonderful insight into yourself. What a gift!! I hope it continues to go well for you. xo

  11. Doloressays:

    I am really getting so much out of your content. I’ve tried “mindful eating” before and it didn’t work for me. Your approach makes so much more sense. It’s the emotional component that was missing for me. Also, the hedonistic eating concept really resonates with me. I can see how food is filling that “hole” in my busy life. I totally feel like I’ve been getting skunked out of the good things in life. Wow. I may have mentioned in a comment somewhere else before, but I’m in my late 50’s and have never heard such a simple, direct, and thoroughly explained way that makes total sense. I know, easier said than done. However, I got rid of all my diet stuff and I am all in. Thanks so much!!

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi again Dolores! Thank you sooo much for your kind words. I’m so glad you’re getting good use from the content 🙂 Hurray for being all in! I hope you’ll reply to one of my emails sometimes so that we can connect even more. xo

  12. Brendasays:

    I find this very intriguing and I hope I can make it successful.
    I want to know how one knows when they’re full? When it’s enough? I can eat non stop.
    Thank you for the food for thought.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Brenda! Great question. Can you tell when you’re physically full? Even if you can keep eating, is there a point when you know you’ve physically had enough? If not, don’t worry. For many of us, it takes time to get back in touch with hunger/fullness. Don’t give up and keep trying to lean into your intuition <3

  13. Reneesays:

    What happens when you are unable to identify what drives the urge to eat? Or, worse yet, name something that brings joy?

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Such a deep comment! Sometimes there are other emotions underneath the joy, like fear. When many of us experience joy we may also experience fearful thoughts like ‘it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe drops.’ I’d love to know if this resonates with you or not <3

  14. Mollysays:

    Hey Kari – this one really spoke to me. Just discovered you can *bake your own bread* and then eat it warm from the oven?!?!? Talk about eating past fullness and definitely hedonic eating going on. Thanks to your quizzes, I know this is my binge style, so this article was quite timely. I’m currently making a list of all the other “hedonic” things I enjoy doing and am going to start doing one a day and see what happens. So much appreciation for your good work!

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Yeeeessss Molly!!! So good!! I love that you’re making a list of other non-food things that bring you joy 🙂 keep me posted! I want to hear how it goes. And I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the warm bread when you’re hungry. It sounds too good to stop! xo

  15. Shannon McKenney Shubertsays:

    Kari, this blog is another one of the 10,000 reasons why I love you so much. You are speaking to my SOUL with this one. I actually shared it with several family members too. Thank you, thank you.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Yeeeeessss!! Thank you Shannon! It is so good to hear from you!! To any of Shannon’s family members perhaps reading this, hey hi hello ^_^

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