What is Emotional Eating?
Did you know emotions play a huge role in your eating cycle? Emotional eating is nothing but a situation when emotions such as anxiety, stress, excitement, sadness, happiness etc. contribute to your eating habits unknowingly. You give in to unhealthy eating and over-eating to overcome personal problems and emptiness in your life.
Physical Hunger Vs Emotional Hunger
The intricacies in the difference between Physical Hunger and Emotional Hunger makes it even the more difficult to differentiate between the two. The sudden urge of eating one of your comforting, unhealthy food items such as, pizzas, burgers, french fries, ice creams etc. is nothing but Emotional Hunger. You binge eat these items and ultimately end up feeling guilty for doing injustice to your body. Opposed to this, Physical hunger develops over a period of time. You do not crave particular food items or feel guilty after consuming them.
Few Causes of Emotional Eating :
When people find themselves cornered due to various reasons, be it personal/professional, they start feeling lonely. This emptiness overpowers their logical thinking and they give in to negativity around them. This in turn leads some people to turn to food as an escape mechanism to feeling full filled.
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest triggers to Emotional Eating. Stress of any form consumes you mentally and ends up making you frustrated and unhappy. People find happiness in over-binging on their favorite junk food items, without keeping a track of how much have they consumed in the name of stress.
Track back to your childhood. Every time you achieved something or made your family proud, it was followed by a ‘Treat’ or ‘Party’ of sorts. This was majorly characterized of ordering all your comfort unhealthy food and having a good meal. Sadly, if this becomes a habit and is followed after every small happy event in your life, then you are building unhealthy Emotional Eating habits.
How can you Avoid Emotional Eating ?
• Channel your emptiness/loneliness into something constructive. Invest time in a hobby. Work on your physical and mental health. Physical activity helps you reduce stress and releases toxins.
• Speak to your family members and your close friends about your feelings. Share things with them. This will help you not turn to Emotional eating and find balance. You will feel relieved after sharing your thoughts with loved ones.
• Meditate and practice yoga. It helps you relax your mind and stay at ease. You can also maintain a Gratitude or Happy Journal, where in you can pen down 5 things each day for which you feel gratitude or are happy about. It is another effective way to avoid Emotional Eating.
Food may seem like an easily accessible alternative initially but won’t help in the long run. Find alternatives to release your stress and anxiety. Don’t hesitate if seeking for medical help. Consulting a therapist or Doctor to overcome Emotional Eating.