Emotional Eating: A Guide

are you emotional eating?

It is pretty obvious that everyone should be looking into ways in which they can combat their emotional eating antics. But what does that word even mean?

Having a good diet and eating healthy is what everyone should aim for. And it is not something you just get done overnight.

Of course it matters how you plan it. You need to plan to focus on your own good health. That’s the least you can do for yourself.

But sometimes comfort food becomes a true calling.

People get sucked into eating with a flair of emotions. They eat to soothe out their splurge of negative feelings.

And this habit is something which is an onset and will remain so for a while. It is done so to suppress your negative feelings.

You may be having guilt and shame and this leads to excessive eating and that in turn leads to major weight gain and other health problems.

But here’s the good thing- you can control it.

In this article, I will be talking about all that you need to know when it comes to emotional eating and how you can actually control it in simple ways.

So let’s start:

Why Food?

why do we turn to food in emotional turmoil?

In times of distress, everyone has some kind of safety loop they look for. A way to calm their jittery nerves.

Emotional eating is one of the most common ways.

It happens in many countries. People who are getting stressed, overwhelmed, worried or any feeling that is not binding in control.

They will be reaching out for food for comfort. This is usually done quite a few times in a week. This act will be able to suppress your negative feelings.

And when it does, and you are done indulging in food. You are then overcome with a strong sensation of feeling shame for consuming too much food

This in turn relates to having severe weight gain. Any kind of stress be it financial worries, your personal problems or health worries like pregnancy anxiety can lead this kind of behavior.

Also this is quite common in both genders. But the question arises… how to identify this disorder?

Identifying an Emotional Eater

So the question arises, how do you know if you are an emotional eater or not?

Well for that there is a checklist for you to look into.

This identifies whether you have this disorder or not. Look into these questions and see if you are fitting the bill or not:

  • Are you eating every time you feel stressed?
  • Do you eat when you are not hungry?
  • Do you continue eating despite feeling full a while back?
  • When it comes to rewarding yourself, all you can think about is food?
  • Is it a habit of yours to eat until you are completely stuffed?
  • Is food something which makes you feel good about yourself?
  • Does it make you feel secure and loved?
  • Do you feel being powerless when there is food around?

All of this is pointing towards the habit of eating way too much. Eating when you really don’t need to.

If you have answered all or most of the questions in here yes, then that means there is something wrong.

And it is best to get yourself diagnosed by an expert to ensure whether you are an emotional eater or not.

How the Cycle Happens?

the onset of neglecting your feelings

So while it is perfectly normal to get happy when a new restaurant opens up or reward yourself with a sweet treat after working out and dieting throughout the week.

It becomes a problem when you actually make use of eating as a major emotional copying mechanism. This means it becomes your first impulse to reach out for that grilled cheese or dig into a cheesy burger the minute you feel down the dumps.

Feeling sick, stressed, angry, hurt- you consume food instead of actually addressing the real problem.

Emotional hunger is a concept we will talk about.

it is when you feel nibbling on your favorite snacks is your only way of figuring out the issue at hand.

Eating will make you feel good in the moment, but as soon as you are done consuming, you will stop feeling happy about it.

In fact in most cases you will even feel worse. You will be then blaming yourself for not having willpower to control your hunger.

So address the problem to find an actual solution.

Now I want to give you an overview of identifying how emotional hunger is different from actual hunger.

Emotional Hunger vs. Actual Hunger

So when it comes to your hunger pangs. Emotional hunger is actually very powerful. But you need to know how to identify it.

Here’s a checklist which lets you see how this hunger differs from the time when you want to have food for real:

Emotional hunger comes all of a sudden. It is something which can be overwhelming and comes on urgently. But physical hunger is one which doesn’t suddenly come over and builds on you gradually.

Emotional hunger is also relating to when you crave for some specific, hunger food. However when you are feeling actual hunger, you would be willing to eat anything including vegetables for a healthy smile.

With emotional eating, you are not able to satisfy completely. You will not feel full no matter how much you eat.

Also when talking about emotional eating, there is often the feeling of regret and guilt which follows soon after you consume food. This is because you are continuously consuming without the need to actually see if you need to eat that much.

So now what is the solution? Here’s the good news you can find alternative ways to handle it.

Better Alternatives

So here’s looking into what emotional eating is and how to look for a better solution when you have certain emotions to fight with. So when:

  • Feeling depressed or sad, you should not head towards the fridge, but you should be calling someone who makes you feel good about yourself. Or you should play with a dog or a cat as this in itself will help you to cope with your emotions better.
  • When you are feeling very anxious, it is then you should look for ways in which you can calm your nerves. Maybe it is by meditating, or listening to certain kind of music. Or you may like to go for walks or take long bubble baths.
  • In case you are filled with exhaustion, then it is best that you relax with a herbal tea. Or you can light up some scented candles.
  • And lastly, many people start eating when they are actually just bored. In that case, you should be reading a good book. In some cases it helps to organize game nights with friends. Or you could simply just go outdoors and involve in some nature exploration

Its these simple tactics which make all the difference. Involve yourself in simple distractions. They can help in big ways.

Also there is something else you can do. Read on to know more about it:

5 Minutes Before Eating

stop and consider if you should be eating this

So this exercise is quite simple. It is called 5 before you actually decide to give into what you are craving.

Before you lose control, take a deep breath and think : Is it possible for me to put off eating anything for five minutes? This means you are taking control of yourself.

No matter how tempting something is, you are not caving and will be making a difference.

And as you wait in those five minutes, talk to yourself and check on how you are doing. How are you feeling? Are you too emotionally exhausted?

All of these simple points will be making a readily great impact on you.

Not only do you learn self-control but you also are able to manage your health in a better way.

It all comes down to being more acceptable towards your feelings. You are in control and not anyone else. Always remember that.

Takeaway

emotional eating can be controlled

Throughout the world, there are so many people who are affected by emotional eating. It is a major disorder which just takes complete control over you.

In many instances you are just consuming food uncontrollably. But in other cases, you are doing so while it impacts you in endless ways.

This article shared in detail with you what is emotional eating, how to identify an emotional eater and of course we looked into ways to combat this condition.

It is not a brain teaser that food makes us feel good, but that is not a good substitute to not actually addressing the real problem.

 

 

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