Travis Howard

Emotional Eating- Why it happens and How to stop it?

  • Profile Image
    Vartika Mishra

    2 years

"I am feeling upset/stressed, I feel like eating something"
"So many relationship struggles and family problems, but I know eating delightful food can help me"
"Yayy!! I am in good mood today, maybe I should reward myself with delectable food"

How many times do you feel the same? Or do you feel like having scrumptious food when you feel awful, desolated, cheered, or feel like eating even if you are full?
The answer is, quite many times!
This is none other than "Emotional Eating"

In such a situation, you must feel like running to a Pantry or Restaurant to have your favorite food, ordering from Zomato & Swiggy, and end up ordering more after seeing a 50% coupon or you simply cook at your kitchen. Finding comfort in food is justifiable. 

But this is not it. There is a comprehensive process behind this which with giving a pleasure satisfaction, leaves you with more disappointment.  

Negative emotions lead to feelings of emptiness and positive cheerful leads to a feeling of consuming great taste makes your way to eat more. To follow those feeling, you tend to eat the food and from there the process of dissatisfaction starts, which is like this:

Something happens that makes to eat
You eat more than you should
After some time, you feel guilty for eating more because it can increase the calories and weight and this makes you powerless over food and your feelings and you ignore the fact that dealing with food is not the only solution to the problem and you need to look into the "Real Solution" 

To deal with this, you need to understand the difference between Emotion Hunger and Physical Hunger-

• Emotional hunger comes suddenly and on an urgent basis while Physical hunger comes gradually and doesn't demand instant satisfaction

• Emotional hunger craves for specific comfort food while in Physical hunger everything sounds good

• Emotional hunger isn't satisfied once you are done, you keep on wanting more and more while Physical hunger doesn't demand to be eaten like a horse

• Emotional hunger often leads to regret and guilt while on Physical hunger you don't feel either of the emotions.

• Emotional hunger you can't get out of your head while Physical hunger is located in your bell

To avoid the looming discontentment after trying to give yourself satisfaction driven by Emotional hunger, you need to identify is it Emotional or Physical hunger? 

You can heed to following tips to take control over it and win the situation:

 1. Find distinct ways to nurture your feelings-  Replacing Emotional hunger is not at all easy, but you need to try. 
- If you feel sad, can someone who always makes you feel better
- If you feel anxious, divert your emotions in dancing or doing your loved activity
- If you are feeling excited, go out for a walk or meet with your favorite people
- Most importantly learn to accept your feeling and know that not every solution or mood ends with eating comfort food

2. Support yourself with healthy lifestyle habits- 
When you are physically strong and mentally peaceful you tend to deal more with such feeling. In cases like this-
- Make exercise a priority
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep
- Connect with close relations and social activities

3. Start a Food Diary- Log your eating be it a heavy meal or munching, this can help you a lot in tracking your Emotional hunger, and in case of medical help, you can show this to your Doctor for better examination. 

4. Pay attention to Volumes- When you feel the sudden urge of eating, don't opt for large volumes, instead try small portions and limit yourself to them. 

5. Oust distractions- Most of the time, in the influence of Television, Netflix, or some other distraction you tend to keep on eating. In such cases, try to expel these distractions. This way you can mind map the hunger and restrict yourself from overeating. 

For a while, satisfying Emotion hunger seems a right fit but addressing the feeling behind the hunger is important in long run. Don't keep on ignoring it and find ways to come out to it. In the short run, it might seem fine, but in long run the consequences are bitter.