Boredom, anger, sadness, joy, anxiety and stress can all lead to emotional, mindless eating. There is not better way to sabotage your fitness goals than by emotional eating. It is possible to be an emotional eater and not even realize it. Chronic emotional eating can lead to chronic health conditions such as obesity and depression.
What drives emotional eating?
When stressed, our bodies release a hormone known as cortisol. An increase in cortisol drives the body to crave carbohydrates, fatty foods and sugar. When we go to food we satisfy the craving but it sets off a vicious cycle that is very hard to break. Some people eat when they feel stressed because it take their mind off of uncomfortable thoughts. The media wants everyone to believe that eating is therapeutic, this just encourages eating. Vending machines and fast food joints all over make it easy to engage in mindless eating.
Are you an emotional eater?
In order to regain control over eating habits and tackle you rapidly expanding mid section, it is vital to recognize mindless eating habits. Take a glance at these questions, if you answer yes to any of them you may be letting your feelings override true hunger.
- Do you ever feel guilt after you eat?
- Do you eat when you are bored?
- Do you eat when you are not hungry?
- Do you crave food when you are stressed, especially sugary food?
- Do you eat when you are mad, sad or anxious?
What do I do if I am an emotional eater?
The first step to ending emotional eating patterns is to get in touch with your feelings. Some people find that keeping a food/mood journal helps. You can write down your behaviors and feelings as they arise. Emotional eating is about searching for comfort in all the wrong places. After you acknowledge that you are an emotional eater you can try to find healthier ways to find the same comfort. It may be calling a friend, taking a walk or even volunteering somewhere. There will always be stress of some kind in life. The important thing is learning how to cope!. Your belly will thank you.
– The Alternative Daily