Know How To Stop Emotional Eating
At the end of a long, tough day, or after a bad meeting, most of us are looking for some comfort food to negate a bad feeling. We’ve seen this move replay so many times in pop culture that we know a girl eating ice cream right out of the tub wearing her pajamas means she’s trying to overcome a horrible experience. Unfortunately, some people tend to forge an apparently unbreakable connection between feeling good and eating.
What is Emotional Eating?
Whether you’re hungry or not, emotional eating is when you gravitate towards food to feel better. Negative emotions such as anger, stress, or sadness are the precursor of emotional eating. They will reach out to a bag of chips or cookies whenever an emotional eater feels these emotions. Emotional eating is mostly high in salt, fat or sugar because it is known that it is highly moody. You will also experience an emotional low after eating, although you may feel a temporary high.
Causes Of Emotional Eating?
The psychiatrists and the doctors are still looking for a whole list of reasons behind emotional eating. Some may find emotional eating caused by a stressful event or change in life. If you are fired from your job or move to a new town, you could become stressful. There are also people who have developed a habit or relationship between a better feeling and better food. Traffic, or the days leading to an assessment by the office, or plain anguish can be placed by food. There may also be a history of trauma or violence in children, where the child learns to hide emotional expressions behind the food that they feel are not safe.
Distinguish Between True Hunger Cues and Emotional Cues:
Emotional hunger may appear closely linked to actual hunger, but you can look forward to telling the difference with several signs. Whether you are experiencing any negative emotions is one of the main things to look for. While a negative feeling doesn’t mean you’re just emotionally hungry, it’s worth stopping to assess your hunger for a minute.
Emotional hunger suddenly develops unlike slowly building up physical hunger. You may also feel strong cravings if you feel emotional hunger that you must satisfy immediately. Finally, emotional eaters do not satiate their hunger pangs even after eating your fill.
Side Effects of Emotional Eating:
For some, emotional eating is not something that could potentially harm them. They seem to be in the minority, unfortunately. Here are some emotional side effects:
1. Eating Disorder:
Some people may develop eating disorders ranging from stress eating disorder to bulimia to binge eating if the link between negative emotions and food is not broken. These disorders are very serious and may adversely affect your health.
Emotional eaters tend to very quickly eat a lot of food. This tends to add stress to the digestive system that may lead to gas formation or discomfort that may last for days. Most of the food that is associated with emotional eating is not healthy, which can add additional stress to your stomach.
3. Weight Gain:
If you eat regularly on an emotional basis, it could lead to weight gain and the many associated problems. A high BMI shows a propensity to heart disease, diabetes, tiredness, and high cholesterol. Because food consumption is closely related to emotions, you may find it difficult to eat healthy to lose weight.
Ways To Stop Emotional Eating :
There is no particular way to stop emotional eating; for different people, different things work. Here are some best approaches to emotional eating and possible solutions that can work for you:
The root cause would be the first aspect to address stress eating. In most cases, psychological stress or mental stress triggers emotional eating. This may vary from someone’s loss to moving to a new city. You also begin to understand that emotional eating is a coping mechanism when you consider that almost any aspect of life can be traumatic. Counseling through certified counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists will help you implement healthier mechanisms for coping and address the underlying problem. They can also help you cope with the emotions leading to eating and finding activities and solutions that work for you.
2. Don’t Avoid Food:
One big mistake many people eating emotionally make is the assumption that eating comfort can be cured by crash diets or denying you any cravings you might have. This tends to tighten your mind and lead you to replace one desire or addiction with another. It also leads to eating more with food than you normally do. A great approach to this is to give in to your anxieties but to limit the size of your portion. If you crave chips, for example, don’t eat a whole pack, take a small bowl, fill it up and mash it on. This helps to limit the quantity and satisfy your hunger.
A scenery change can help you identify your emotions. You expose yourself to more cultures, traditions and broader aspects of society by traveling. Solo-travel also gives you time and space to understand your thoughts and emotions. Traveling with a partner helps you trust a person and create relationships. Visiting various landscapes can alter chemicals in the brain. Travel can help you experience joy and fight against the negative emotions that lead to eating stress.
The main causes of emotional eating are trauma and depression. Exercise frees your brain from endorphins and dopamines. This helps to remove the stress that helps you manage or keep the depression at a loss. Training also acts as an escape from traumatic events and a cathartic release. When you work on a regular basis, you think better. This can also help you to manage emotions and transform them into a healthy activity that helps you cope with trauma more safely than food.
5. Store Healthy Food:
In general, stress or eating comfort tends to push you to eat anything nearby. Place nuts, fruits, vegetables, and fiber crackers onto your kitchen. You’ll eat a healthy snack in this way. If your body is healthy physically, it often works better on mental stress; therefore junk food leads to emotional food. Junk food nutrients promote adverse chemicals for the brain, de-regulate proper blood circulation and disrupt your digestive tract. Healthy food is doing the opposite, helping to avoid emotional eating.
Heavy stresses often cause emotional eating in your mental and emotional health. Prevention is the best solution to this. Do something every week for yourself, rest well, exercise regularly, and get along with all the good and bad emotions. If you feel emotionally struggling, talk to a psychologist.