If you are asking whether there is a connection between mood and food, the answer is a big YES! Experts say that 75% of overeating is because of emotions. Emotional eating is also called stress eating. This is, most of the time, our way to either defeat or appease our negative emotions, but stress isn’t the only emotion why we binge eat. Some people overeat because of certain emotional triggers like anger, anxiety, fear, guilt, sadness, loneliness, relationship conflicts, financial pressures, fatigue, health problems and even boredom.
To soothe our feelings, we like to turn to our comfort food. They give us instant positivity making us believe that the more that we eat, the more we can be happy. It could make us addicted to the feeling that the food brings us. This leads to food being a distraction to solve our own problems.
There are 5 techniques on how to stop eating emotionally:
1. Know Your Triggers, Be Prepared and Approach It Head On
Most of the time, we relate a particular emotion to food. If we are stressed, we want to eat burgers. If we are experiencing dysmenorrhea (for women), we like soda or chocolate. If we are sad or heartbroken, we eat pizza.
With this, we know what triggers our cravings, and we will know when a particular binge would start.
As I mentioned above, we make food a seemingly solution to our problems when in truth, it just makes us feel better without solving anything. If you are feeling low, try to observe and to listen. Look for ways on how to solve this feeling of being down. If you do this, you will get to the heart of the problem and eventually come up with strategies that will really solve the issue. This would give you more satisfaction than what food can give you.
2. Keep the Pleasure Principle
Maintain the principle of rewarding yourself. When you have problems, instead of eating as a way to handle stress, why not try other rewards. You can do the following instead: soak in a bubble bath, go to the salon or for a massage, watch a movie, read a book, or you can just allow yourself to sleep for a while longer. There are more ways to experience positivity other than eating, you only have to be creative.
3. Get Support. Be Active and Socialize
If you are feeling sad, lonely or bored, you can curb emotional eating by reconnecting with people. Call a member of your family or friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Call your close friends over for a movie marathon. Set up an outing like a swimming escape or a mountaineering expedition. Check social media for the latest events in your local area.
4. Eat When You Are Hungry
Most people who are stressed in work do not eat at the right time. They do not eat when they are actually hungry thinking to eat more later. What you can do is to always bring a healthy snack with you. This way, your body will not feel deprived or starved, and in turn will not binge eat later.
5. Tame your Stress
Try to relax. In relation to getting active, why not try stress management techniques like meditation and yoga. You can start simple by closing your eyes when you’re stressed and breathing deeply. You will instantly feel recharged and calm.