What is emotional eating ?
Emotional Eating is any eating behavior that involves the use of food to soothe emotions and relax. It can include using food to deal with stress and increase mood, or to decrease stress and decrease mood.
Stress Eating: The Unexpected Role Emotional Eating Plays In Weight Management.
A common concern in relation to emotional eating is excessive control. Many people are concerned that they are unable to control their eating habits, which seem to fluctuate without any logical pattern. Emotional eating is a common issue for anyone trying to lose weight, but it can be particularly challenging for those who struggle to control their eating. By eating in response to natural hunger cravings and emotions, we can be cued to eat without thinking.
What are the signs of emotional eating?
1-You eat when you are stressed:
When you have something to do work,study or exams, you unconsciously search for food. Especially when you’re up late at night and by yourself, though it can happen in the day also in front of others. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relaxation.
Related: 8 Ways to Bust Stress in 5 Minutes
2-You eat as a response to your emotions:
You eat when you feel sad, annoyed,empty ,angry , lonely ,disappointed ,anxious, tired ,bored.It’s a response so subconsciously embedded that you don’t even think about it.You just automatically numb yourself with food, to avoid the difficult emotions you’d rather not feel.
3-You eat when you feel happy:
They see that food is a necessary accompaniment to happy feelings, just as people eat to celebrate good news.
4-You have random food cravings out of the blue:
Sometimes, you feel like you have to eat certain food, that you can’t give an explanation for yourself. And it’s not even that you’re hungry. It’s only a craving that you should satisfy, else you’ll feel sad for the day.
5-You eat even when you are rightfully full:
No matter how much you eat, no matter how full you feel, you are never completely satisfied. Any satisfaction you get from eating is temporary and you return to eating after a while to regain that excitement.
6-Boredom or feelings of emptiness:
Do you ever eat just to give yourself something to do, to alleviate boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You sense unfulfilled and empty, and food is a way to occupy your mouth and your time. In the moment, it fills you up and distracts you from underlying emotions of purposelessness and dissatisfaction with your life.
7-Shame or guilt:
Emotional distress, such as shame or guilt, about your eating habits is another sign.
10 Ways to Stop Emotional Eating And Be Mindful Of Your Diet:
If you find yourself succumbing to emotional eating, there are steps you can take to help you break the addiction.
1-Pay attention to why you’re eating:
Experts agree that the first step to combating emotional eating is to understand that you are eating out of emotional hunger, not physical hunger. Is your physical body hungry and in need of nourishment? Or do you feel bored, lonely, sad or disappointed?
2-Don’t obsess over food:
While you should try to condition your body to know when it’s time to eat, don’t obsess over food or you’ll inevitably overdo it. If you absolutely have to eat, try making healthier substitutes. for example popcorn instead of biscuits or dates instead of candy.
Drinking plenty of water is always important, but even more so during times of high stress.Sometimes when we think we’re hungry or tired, we’re actually dehydrated. “Instead of the sugary drink that we think calms us down, have a glass of water or, if you prefer hot drinks, a cup of tea.
4-Get Adequate Sleep:
Eating habits tend to decline with disrupted sleep, When we don’t get enough sleep, our adrenals become unbalanced, our cortisol levels rise, and we find ourselves wanting to satisfy our cravings.7 to 8 Hours of sleep each night can help you control stress eating.
The best way to outsmart our reptilian brains that urges us to eat even when we don’t want to is to practice mindfulness. When we’re dealing with stress, the best thing we can do is slow down and take a few deep breaths. This resets our sympathetic nervous systems , allowing us to focus on making better choices, choices that serve us long-term and not just provide temporary gratification.
6-Don’t Tempt Yourself:
Eliminate the urge to eat unhealthy foods by keeping them out of your home. Do you worry about making bad decisions when shopping? Follow a strict healthy food list and never visit the supermarket when you are hungry or in a bad mood.
7-Don’t allow yourself get too hungry:
You’ve probably heard the term “hangry,” a portmanteau of “hungry” and “angry” used to describe a person who gets irritable when they’re past time to eat. Making sure you stave off this mood. For example, ingesting proteins that allow you to stay full for longer is a great bet.
8-Wait 20 minutes:
The thing about emotional eating is that the food demands that you eat it now. You should inhale this cake immediately.Make yourself a cup of tea and tell yourself that if the alarm sounds and you still want that cake, you can go ahead and eat it.
Most of the time you will find that after 20 minutes the immediacy of the situation has lessened and the craving for something sweet has subsided on its own.
9-Eat mandarin ( oranges) :
Not only are tangerines portable and easy to peel and eat, they’re also high in vitamin C, which can help boost your immunity. Plus, citrus smells so good and it relieves stress.
10-Make Your List of Other Options:
One of the best ways to combat food stress is to make a list of other activities that will make us feel better.
There are other things that produce a reaction similar to junk food, without the guilt and frustration of overeating. These are such things as connection, mindfulness, meditation, exercise… These things will naturally dampen your threat reaction system and help you control stress more effectively.