After having a fight with your life partner or getting exhausted with the long stressful work hours, you find solace in your pantry. Hitting with all the emotions, all you want is to concentrate on those snacks in order to erase all your pain. Sometimes you also get emotionally hungry, and rather than satisfying it, you try to stuff your tummy when it doesn’t need it at all. Do you think it is quite normal? Or is getting emotional an excuse for you to be gluttonous and eat everything that comes before you? If you have any such habit of running towards food whenever you feel down, you are seriously in trouble and have to take action immediately.
What Is Emotional Eating?
Experts say, 75% of overeating among people is due to mood swings and emotional outbreaks. If you are a victim of emotional eating, you tend to eat food in large quantities, not as a response to hunger, but your feelings. In emotional eating, you consider eating as a way to soothe and suppress negative emotions when you feel stress, emptiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, loneliness, or boredom. They are more likely to fetch junk and unhealthy foods to comfort or reward themselves.
Those who have this habit prefer to eat junk foods more often, so it will lead them to more complications like obesity and other lifestyle diseases.
What Causes Emotional Eating?
Just like the phrase suggests, it is all about your emotions. It can be due to anything that brings negative emotions. You experience it due to :
- Work stress
- Financial issues
- Relationship problems
- Health issues
- Postpartum depression
- Mood swings
- Cravings that comes when you feel lonely and empty
Am I An Emotional Eater?
If you eat in order to make yourself feel better or to satisfy your emotional needs rather than hunger, it may be the signs of emotional eating in you. Here are a few keys to evaluate yourself and let you ensure whether you are an emotional eater.
- Excess eating when you are stressed
- You eat even you are not hungry and full
- You consider rewarding yourself with a snack
- You eat to relieve your emotions or to feel better
- You lose control over the quantity of the food you eat
Difference Between Emotional And Real Physical Hunger
You should follow the eat to lie policy and avoid living to eat. And it is the main key to live peacefully until you kick the bucket. If you are not able to differentiate between emotional; and physical hunger let me help you with some indicators.
- it comes all of sudden and abrupt
- You crave only for a particular food
- You cannot stop once you start eating( binge eating)
- Even though you eat a lot, you never feel full.
- The feeling of regret, guilt, or shame overeating
- It will not wait, and you feel as if you need to satisfy it instantly.
- it develops gradually
- You have a feeling to eat a variety of foods
- When you are full, you feel it and have a feeling to stop eating
- You are not bothered by your eating.
- Your physical hunger can wait
Why Do I Prefer Food?
You prefer food to free yourself from emotions as you believe it to be a way towards the wrong assumption of fullness. But, you are totally unaware that this feeling of fullness is transient.
Emotional eating occurs when you:
- Withdraw from social support while you are emotionally in need.
- Not engaging yourself in activities to get rid of negative feelings.
- Fail to differentiate between physical and emotional hunger.
How Can I Free Myself From It?
Emotional eating is indeed a serious issue, but it is not impossible to have control over it. To help you out from this disorder, all you need to do is a few changes in your habits and the way you treat yourself with food.
- Stop and Proceed
If you are not feeling strong enough to control it, take a pause and think over it. You actually are powerful to win over your cravings. Just try to deviate yourself from thinking about the food you crave for. Sometimes, doing some interesting physical activities can be enough to save yourself.
- Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating involves enjoying every bit of food you take. Eating while doing other activities, like watching TV will let you feel less satisfied. As a result, you will not be able to fully enjoy the food. Just because your focus is on something else. You also need to eat slowly as you will not eat overly.
- Follow Healthy Eating And Lifestyle Habits
Following healthy habits will make you strong, and relaxed. Habitual actions like regular exercising, healthy eating and sleep patterns, and socializing with others are the keys to stay fit and healthy. And at the same time, it will help you to step out from difficulties and negative emotions and prevent you from heading towards emotional eating.
Mindfulness meditation can bring notable changes in you from all the unhealthy eating habits. Even some people practice it as a treatment to get rid of them including binge eating and emotional eating.
- Rearrange Your Pantry
Reorganize your pantry with healthy foods. And you also need to keep all the tempting items away from your fridge as you are more likely to take them when it is within your hand’s reach.
If still, you are not able to control your eating habits, it is essential to seek medical help. As it is not just a matter of hunger, ensure to give proper care to both the mental and physical side of this unusual way of eating.