Do you know the feeling when you are eating when you feel emotional? Do you feel guilt at that time? Now is your time to know how to stop emotional eating forever.
We often link food to comfort, a reward or stress overload. Unfortunately, emotional overeating doesn’t eliminate emotional problems. Usually we feel even worse after eating in inappropriate hours.
Awareness of triggers that are causing emotional eating is the first step to free ourselves from emotional and compulsive overeating. It is a step towards changing habits that sabotage our well-being and mental health.
What is Emotional Eating?
If you have ever made room for dessert, even if you have already been full, or have you encroached on a greater amount of unhealthy food when you felt lonely, sad, angry or desperate, you experienced emotional eating.
Emotional eating is feeding, which gives us a false feeling that we feel better at a moment. It is filling the emotional void and not the emptiness caused by the physical lack of food in the stomach.
We all experienced that we used food as a sort of reward or in the moment of bad mood that made us a little more joyful. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if this emotional pattern of overeating is repeated, and if you accept it as a mechanism for your regular operation, then this can become a vicious circle that is hard to get out of. Every habit we regularly repeat, as good as bad, becomes part of our lives.
Food won’t solve Emotional Hunger
Such feeding can cause satisfaction at the moment, but our emotions and our emotional problems still remain. Emotional problems must be solved on an emotional level.
This means that we must be aware of them first, and work with the correct approach and various techniques towards the solution. The concept of healthy eating has gained a much wider dimension because of this instead of merely listing what a healthy nutrition is.
We already have plenty of information about nutrition. Almost everyone will know what optimal feeding means for him, and he is aware that he made a mistake when he woke up and emptied the fridge in the middle of the night. We are turning in a vicious circle of disappointment because we couldn’t resist the temptation again and therefore not our body weight. It usually leads us to an even bigger disappointment.
How to stop emotional eating forever? Before you can get out of the cycle of emotional eating, you will first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be harder than it sounds, as feeding is regularly on our daily schedule.
What is the Difference between Emotional and Physical Hunger?
Emotional hunger comes abruptly, strikes instantly, no matter what time it is, and we must satisfy it quickly. On the other hand the feeling of physical hunger comes slowly. The desire to eat something is not as strong and necessary as emotional hunger (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).
Emotional hunger longs for special foods that bring us comfort. When we are physically hungry, there is no need for specific food. When you feel hungry you eat something that is available to you.
In emotional hunger we yearn for oily foods, calorie starchy foods, and sweet snacks that provide instant enjoyment. At that moment, we feel that we have to eat that pizza or those biscuits we have imagined and nothing else. Emotional hunger often leads to uncontrolled and unwise feeding. Before we even know, we have already eaten a bag of chips, a container of ice cream without paying attention or even enjoying each bite of the food.
When we eat for physical hunger, we tend to be more aware of our feelings, a taste of food is important, we usually eat slower and more conscious.
Emotional eating doesn’t satisfy us when we are fed, because it is not in the stomach. It has the desire for more and more food. We often go to the point when we feel annoyingly full. On the other hand, physical hunger doesn’t require a feeling of fullness in the stomach and is focused on food, the feeding process, texture, color and odors.
We eat for various reasons. The first step in treating emotional eating is the identification of personal triggers. So, what are the events that trigger an irresistible desire for a particular food in us? What are the feelings that accompany us?
The most Common Causes of Emotional Eating
The most common causes of emotional feeding are stress and events that we take as stressful. When the stress hormone cortisol rises it causes the desire for salty, sweet, fatty foods, and similar.
Emotional eating can be linked as a filler of our emotions. When something is missing in our lives, we want to fill the void. Emotional eating is a way to calm down your anger, helplessness, sadness, fear, anxiety, loneliness, shame, and resentments. We usually avoid these emotions; we want to cover them and put them under the carpet. It can become a tool that redirects our feelings for a moment.
Have you ever caught yourself in emotional eating because you were bored or felt gaps in your life? At this very moment, food fills our deficit and in some way takes us away from our emotions and dissatisfaction. But this doesn’t solve the problem in the very essence.
Sometimes children’s habits can be deeply embedded. Just think about how you grew up. Did your parents reward you for your achievements and good behavior with food? Conducting certain events – positive or negative – with specific foods can lead to emotional overeating.
How to stop Emotional Eating Forever?
Many of you probably recognized themselves in the above descriptions. The solution for emotional overeating is not to be found in the nutrition itself, but in your feelings.
You can start with a simple step. Make a list of situations that put you in stress or cause negative feelings to you. Be aware and write your feelings on a sheet of paper. Find out what the trigger is that brings you negative feelings. Write them on paper.
Sometimes these feelings are deeper and the problems encounter in our unconsciousness, so they are difficult to get aware of and solve. It is better to consult and solve problems with the appropriate expert in such cases, or join some guiding group where you meet people who face similar situations like you.