If you’re an emotional eater like me, you eat for reasons other than hunger. Does that sound familiar to you? In the evening when I sit and watch TV, I think about eating ice cream. I’m imagining all the good chocolate swirls and nuts packed into every bite. Before long I check my watch and realize the store will be closing soon, and before I know it I’m standing in line, buying a half gallon or two of my favorite ice cream.
what happened to me What can I do?
Emotional eating has been described as eating to satisfy emotional feelings rather than physical hunger. What we do is nurture an emotion, usually a negative one. Ever heard of the term “comfort food” (candy or junk food)? We try to make ourselves feel better by eating a pleasant treat. The good feeling only lasts for a short time. Then we feel guilty and angry with ourselves. Depression creates an even more negative feeling and mood.
Emotional eating creates a vicious cycle, eating to satisfy a feeling, creating momentary pleasure, then guilt, creating more negative feelings, and then eating more to feed that feeling. As I know, this cycle leads to obesity and health problems. I’m not going to pound you with all the problems associated with obesity. For example health problems, physical complaints, lack of exercise and treatment by and acceptance in society. You experience it, like me, all day long, every day.
What I’m going to do is tell you how I came to deal with this problem. After participating in so many weight loss programs, I’ve come to realize that my emotional eating usually has a trigger. Some of my triggers are: an anxious state of mind, dealing with a deadline, feeling sorry for myself or being in an awkward situation. Sometimes it’s a simple and positive trigger, such as B. Food nearby that smells good and everyone eats and enjoys it.
How do I recognize emotional eating instead of physical hunger?
First – Emotional eating is usually craving one type of food (ice cream for me) and only that food will satisfy the craving. Whereas if I was physically hungry then any food choice will satisfy me.
Second – An emotional need arises quickly and needs to be satisfied now. Physical hunger builds gradually, but I can delay eating.
Third – If I eat emotionally, I will eat and keep eating rather than being full and stuffed. I’m doing this because I’m trying to satisfy a feeling, not hunger. On the other hand, if I eat because I’m hungry, I’ll stop eating when I’m full.
Fourth – After I’m done with an emotional binge eating, I always feel guilty and promise myself I’ll do better. Of course I don’t keep this promise and prepare myself for another binge. On the contrary, if I ate out of hunger, I don’t feel guilty and am satisfied with my meal.
Fifth – I’ve realized that some of my emotional eating comes from positive feelings, such as: B. Celebrations with friends and colleagues. In these situations, I usually overeat and find that social drinking becomes an unwanted source of calories as well. The good feelings that the celebration evokes are enhanced by good food and drink. I have found that in these cases it is best to eat beforehand and enjoy the company of my friends rather than the food and drink.
I use food as a distraction that keeps me from dealing with a problem. It seems to me that my strongest desires come when I’m at my weakest emotionally.
There are many feelings that lead to emotional eating. These include: stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness, loneliness, not belonging and not feeling good enough. We must learn to recognize these feelings and their triggers. The best method I know of is to keep a “food diary.”
The “Food Journal” should include the time we eat, what we eat, the number of calories burned and the reasons we ate. This documentation process is a key component of our lifestyle change. We need to know our eating habits so that we can understand, recognize and control our emotional eating episodes.
What Can We Do About Emotional Eating?
First – Have an alternative to eating. Make a list of fun, self-help pastimes such as B. listening to weight loss audios, doing an EFT session, or meditating with affirmations. You can do any physical activity like walking or any other exercise found in the Calorie Burn Chart under How Can I Lose Weight Challenge. You could call a friend, write on a blog, or join a support group forum.
Second – Take away the temptation by not having your desire in the house. Make it hard to go and get what you crave.
Third – Keep healthy food choices like fruits and veggies nearby. When those emotional binge eating hits, recognize the situation and when you need to eat, replace junk food with a healthy choice.
Emotional eating can be detrimental to our well-being. When we are unable to control our eating behavior, a doctor’s consultation may be needed. Typically, documenting in our “food journal,” substituting an alternative activity, and managing meals at home helps overcome our desire to eat emotionally.
Thanks to David Duane Wilson