Do you often feel that you end up eating while being stressed out!?
Do you often feel after having a bad day, some unhealthy food items helps to sooth you!?
Or does it mostly like happen that food is the escape for all problems?
We as humans definitely turn ourselves onto food for refreshment, when we are getting bored, when we are stressed or simply when we are sad.
This is where emotional eating comes in picture.
What is emotional eating?
Emotional eating is most commonly done by finding comfort in the food. It is not a result of physical hunger but rather during our emotional times, we tend to reach for junk food, sweets and other comforting but unhealthy food.
Occasionally picking up food to celebrate or coping up isn’t a bad thing but when you make it a habit of always finding solution by indulging in eating, then YES, YOU BECOME A PART OF AN UNHEALTHY EMOTIONAL CYCLE.
Emotional eating might make you feel good and it’s an easy escape but after sometime you do realize that the feelings which triggered you still exists. This will make you feel even worse because of the extra calories consumed and yet the problem still stands there.
Now you must be confused that how do you identify whether you are emotionally hungry or is it actually a physical hunger.
Below are the differences between Emotional hunger and Physical hunger.
- Emotional hunger arises for only some specific food items which gives us satisfaction for that particular moment of time. It is very sudden and instant. On the other hand, when one feel hungry physically. At that moment of time, you aren’t specific that you want to eat only a burger/pizza/chocolate/ice cream. It is not specific driven but you tend to have whatever is available to you for feeling full.
- Emotional eating doesn’t gives us a satisfaction of fullness. We tend to eat more and more till the time our emotional state is there where in physical hunger does gives us a feeling of satiety after we have fed ourselves.
- Emotional eating usually ends up in the state of guilt because we are mindlessly eating and once our emotions are under control then we tend to regret. On the other hand, when we are physically hungry then we end up being happy and satisfied because that’s what out body needs actually. We don’t tend to eat mindlessly but we eat as per our hunger pangs.
Common causes for Emotional Eating-
- Stress- Stress mostly induces the production of cortisol. It then triggers the cravings for salty, sweet and fried food, etc.
- Boredom- Eating for the time being distracts you from the boredom and unsatisfactory feelings.
- Social gathering- Meeting people is good way to reduce these events but one can indulge in over eating too.
- Emotional void- This happens when a person is connected to the comfort foods like ice creams, chocolates for getting away with the emotional state of mind.
Alternatives to prevent Emotional Eating-
- If you feel depressed or lonely, you can call someone to vent out. You can also play with your pet or pen down those feeling which will help you to address it.
- If you feel anxious then try to get out of the zone by distraction, squeezing the stress ball, going for a brisk walk or even dancing on your favorite track.
- If you are bored then read a book, watch some show or explore outside.
- Identify the reason for emotional eating and analyze the solution for it.
- Wait for 5 minutes before you indulge into emotional eating and see if this is going to solve the issue.
- Lastly practice mindful eating, workout for 20-30 minutes, sleep for 8 hours and maintain a diary to list the triggers.
- Take breaks between your schedules so that you don’t over burden yourself with stress.
- Surround yourself with healthy indulgences such as buttermilk/fruits/sprouts/channa etc so that unhealthy food is out of sight.
- Meditate for 10 minutes daily so that you eliminate the stress triggers of your life