Emotional Eating!

Many of us wish to satisfy or manage their stress by way of emotional eating. If we go down the memory lane many of us have gone through this emotional eating scene. The scene could be like, delivering an important assignment the day after tomorrow and you are not finished with it, or may be a presentation is to be given in the office the other day and you are not prepared with it. Depression, chronic anger, frustration, stress and other interpersonal relationships can cause unwanted weight gain and overeating.

We shall now deal with certain reasons as to why this emotional eating happens.

  • Sweet treats – many of us, rather all of us at some point of time, in our lives must have been offered sweets to wipe off our tears. This is our ingrained psyche, that whenever we are sad, or lonely, we usually reward ourselves, just to make ourselves a little less gloomy, we have sugary candies, or chocolates. This can easily help us wipe away our anger and sadness.
  • Eating to celebrate– whenever there is celebration at home and there is no good food to have; the celebrations don’t look like celebrations. Celebrations are marked by the good and delicious food we eat then. But one should seriously try and pamper oneself with not just food, but try and go for a good spa treatment, go shopping, make you feel special.
  • Mood elevating food – usually we all like foods which are easy to munch. Like samosas, chips, chocolates, ice creams. These are easy to pick up things and you do not have to think over, before eating. Most commonly the feel goods foods are all junk foods. Foods with high sugar content, release a chemical in the brain, which is the feel good chemical called “serotonin”. This is what leaves you an empty stomach, every time when you are idle.
  • Foods in the social settings – generally when we are in a social gathering we tend to eat less as others might not like the way we keep munching each and every food item present there. Therefore all we have to say is that in such a social situation one should always listen to one’s own body, eat a minimum amount of food which is acceptable to your body don’t just grab all that you see, self control is very important.

How can an emotional eater be identified?

Generally we see that the person, who intends to eat out of emotional breakdown, reaches out for high caloric foods which are unhealthy at the same time. Women generally opt for chocolate and ice-creams on the other hand men usually go for all spicy stuff, French fries and burgers. A person, when he is really hungry eats slowly and waits till the time the morsel is over, but then when a person is “emotionally eating”, he eats quickly.

Emotional Eating!

What to do?

For this the person who is in a habit of emotionally eating, should keep his balance of mind and should definitely think over, that eating or rather overeating can cause weight gain and is unhealthy on the other side. Try and make friends who can suggest you as to what to do in emotional situations. Try and make yourself busy with work that you love doing; it could be painting, drawing, a rigorous work out, shopping or simply chit chatting with your friends. You should look out for options which can help you overlook food.

Try to mingle with other people around you. Sitting idle in one corner of the house, isolated and simply eating and sleeping can help you in no ways. Move out, make new friends interact with them and you might not even know as to when your old grievances will get over in no time and you will soon be busy and occupied with your life and deal things normally. Emotional eating as we mentioned earlier is nothing but eating without any interruptions, this will lead to depression even when there is none.

Certain coping tips with “emotional eating”

  • Try making new friends - its magical, that whenever we are with our friends we tend to forget all our miseries and tensions. The fun and frolic with them can definitely help you forget all that happened in the past and also help you come out of that depressing “emotional eating” habit.
  • Get help – get help from the nearby groups, or friends or family members. The company of these people can help you be aware of emotional eating habits. Join a good social working group, which will keep you out of all the issues that can again push you into the emotional eating habit.
  • Get distracted from eating - read books (check other benefits of reading books), surf the internet, listen to music, chat with friends online, all such things can definitely rejuvenate your mood and make you feel light.
  • Calm your mind - join yoga classes, this will attain you spiritual calmness, rest your mind in peace and gives you the capacity to think broader and look out for opportunities coming your way.

Mark the difference between those who “emotionally eat” and those who do not.

As per a research, there are differences that can be marked between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

  • Physical hunger gradually occurs; but emotional hunger comes suddenly.
  • Hunger that develops physically, can wait, but then the emotional hunger is irresistible, one cannot wait for it to be fulfilled with the food for which you crave.
  • Physical hunger can never leave behind guilt feelings, but eating emotionally can.
  • When you are full after eating physically you will probably never eat again at that time, but then when you eat emotionally, you tend to continue eating as if without knowing what is going on and what are you eating.

Therefore there are certain tips and ways given so that in case you, or any friend or any near and dear one is going through such a habit of “emotional eating”, can be prevented from doing so further.

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