Emotional Eating

Ksenia Khor

Ksenia is a communications student, avid traveller, and book lover. She is passionate about art, fashion, theatre, spirituality and well-being.

Mass media and internet are bursting with advice on how we can become thinner, healthier and prettier, especially through dieting.  Even though everyone seems to be crazy about improving their eating habits, weight issues still remain quite hot among both men and women. Is being overweight a genetic curse that can’t be broken? Or, maybe, we just can’t control ourselves with food and our will power is somewhat a joke. However, the reason why we still carry those extra kilos sometimes lies much deeper in our psyche than we thought.

Current body obsessions caused a spur in complicated relationships with food that can undermine any eating regimes. Some of them result in eating disorders, but others affect our lives in a more subtle way. For instance, in the moments of stress, anxiety or sadness, have you ever eaten fatty food or sweets to make yourself feel better? Have you continued eating even when you were full? Or, have you used food as a reward? If you answer yes to any of those questions, then, you probably, experienced the so-called emotional eating.

For many of us food is not just a fuel. We are emotionally attached to it. For example, we can associate some of our favourite foods with childhood memories or people we love. That is why it is natural for us to celebrate significant events and achievements with a great meal, or occasionally use our favourite sweets to cheer ourselves up. If those indulgences are present in our lives in moderation, there’s nothing daunting or harmful about them. Moreover, delicious treats can actually improve our sense of well-being. However, the problems start when food becomes the first and foremost solution to emotional roller coasters.

Stress, loneliness, sadness and fear are all part of our everyday lives. But not all of us can always successfully cope with them, especially, if some of those feelings become particularly overwhelming. In this case, food can become the easy-accessible and instant feel – good dope. Unfortunately, its effects are not lasting and, more importantly, eating does not solve any problems. It can actually create new ones as constant emotional eating can cause a weight-gain and, subsequently, a sense of guilt and powerlessness that may, in turn, lead to more attempts of comforting ourselves through food consumption.  In other words, we can get trapped in unhealthy eating and emotional cycles that can affect our bodies and minds.

If emotional eating significantly affects your life and weight, the last thing you want to do is to go on a diet because you are most likely to fail. Strict control over you food consumption can trigger your cravings and emotional hunger. Before committing yourself to an eating regime, it’s better to assess the roots of your relationship with food and emotional eating and, also, learn to distinguish between physical and psychological hungers. One of the most effective ways to do so is through therapy. However, you can also improve your eating and psychological patterns yourself.

First of all, it is important to understand the differences between the physical hunger and emotional. The first is a body signal; the second appears suddenly when you feel stressed or anxious. Some other features of emotional eating are a craving of fatty and sugary foods, mindless food consumption without enjoyment, and feelings of guilt or regret it causes.

Second, don’t try and change your eating patterns in one go. Getting emotional eating under control require patience and time. One of the first steps to overcome it is to indentify the reasons of emotional hunger. Do you get sudden sugar cravings when you’re trying to suppress negative emotions? Do you reach out for food when you’re feeling bored? Or, do you constatnly reward yourself with a variety of unhealthy snacks? To find the answers for such question, you may want to work on your self-awareness and pay more attention to your thoughts and feelings. Maybe, you’ll also find that keeping a diary of what you eat quite useful for that matter.

After you identified you ‘triggers’,  try to find a way to deal with your emotions without consuming extra calories. For instance, call a good friend when you’re feeling lonely, try out a new activity to make youself less bored and don’t forget the power of laughter when you’re sad. In other words, make small changes to your life.If you feel that emotional hunger is absorbing you, try to take a short pause. Several seconds of breathing can make a difference as they will allowyou to take control over the eating impulse and therefore stop you from overeating.

The most important step, and probably the hardest, is to learn to accept your emotions. Even though positive feelings are in favour in our culture, negative ones are also part of our personality. They help us to live life more fully and appreciate its good moments. You should face your emotions no matter how negative they are and accept them as part you. When you do so, you’ll be able to deal with them more effectively and, consequently, let go of habits of emotional eating.

Sort by
  • New Member says
    This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. Judi online
  • New Member says
    We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Chiropractor in louisville
  • New Member says
    You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. ทางเข้า UFABET
  • New Member says
    This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: Final Year Project Research Topics
  • New Member says
    I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... recyclable packaging
  • New Member says
    Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. tourism
  • New Member says
    i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. pedagog olmak için
  • New Member says
    Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. ukrayna odessa
  • New Member says
    Great article Lot's of information to Read...Great Man Keep Posting and update to People..Thanks AboutNutra
  • New Member says
    We have sell some products of different custom boxes.it is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends. corporate gifts

Post your comment

Want to have your say?

It's quick, easy and 100% free.



Endorsed Events

  • SpringBreakFIJI SpringBreakFIJI

    Secure your motivation for the year by locking in SpringBreak in Fiji, your own exclusive island

  • The Fijian Cup The Fijian Cup

    The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...

  • Rock Island VANUATU Rock Island VANUATU

    From a fully chartered resort, an incredible line up of Kiwi musicians and Rock legends flown in you'll find nothing close to...

  • Summit FIJI Summit FIJI

    Summit FIJI aims to revolutionise how businesses can approach conferences, corporate retreats and team building weekends