This is from the December 2011 Reader's Digest:
"The next time you get a craving, ask yourself if you're stressed, sad, or bored. If so, you may be eating to fill an emotional void. Keep a "desire diary" for a week or more, and note your mood whenever you're hit by an irresistible urge to chow down. If stress is your trigger, exercise more to relieve the pressure. If loneliness drives you to the Doritos bag, call someone. Remember that true hunger is easy to satisfy; any food will do. Emotional hunger, on the other hand often manifests itself in desires for specific things like ice cream and fast food."
I added italics to the part that I keep "chewing" on. First of all, "true hunger is easy to satisfy; any food will do." That's probably true, to a point, for me; however, if I allow true hunger to go too long (what I call "beyond hungry") I become extremely picky because nothing sounds good to me, even though I feel like I'm starving. A friend of mine experiences similar reactions when she's overly hungry. We're both hypoglycemic, so I wonder if that has something to do with it.
I've struggled for years with emotional eating, and I've heard of keeping a food or eating diary before, but for some reason reading the suggestion of a "desire diary" struck me: I need to do that. I'm not sure I will learn anything more about whether I'm stressed, sad, bored, or lonely, but I think the desire diary will at least help me stop before eating and acknowledge what I'm really feeling and hopefully recognize it's not true hunger. Plus, I think it will be interesting to determine what specific things I crave for various emotions. I don't think I've ever made that connection before...if I'm craving something specific it might be a manifestation of emotional hunger.