Eating because we are bored, stressed, angry, tired, or just simply craving something often has nothing to do with actually being hungry.
Most of these cases are linked to your emotions, and thus we refer to it as “emotional eating”.
Often we do not even realize we are busy with emotional eating, and when we do realize this, we don’t think it is much of a big deal. But the truth is that it can be a very slippery slope, with a dangerous end.
It is actually far more of a common problem than most people think, and with high-stress jobs and other lifestyle variables it is becoming more of a problem every single day.
When you do realize that you have a problem with emotional eating, it is important to try and minimize it as much as possible. This can be done by replacing this bad habit with healthy or neutral ones.
Replacement habits can take the form of exercise, reading, doing something with a friend (which doesn’t involve eating, of course), pursuing a hobby, or anything that you find keeps you busy and out of the fridge.
What are your triggers for emotional eating?
It is important to understand what causes you to undergo emotional eating, as triggers differ from one person to the next.
A great way to track this is by keeping a food journal which not only states what you eat, but also what emotion you were feeling at the time that might have been the cause for your quick snack – or massive meal.
Emotional eating is seen as a type of coping mechanism, which can actually lead to certain chemical changes in the brain that causes emotional eating to become extremely pleasurable and addictive.
Although it might seem like a bit of a bold statement, emotional eating can easily be compared to recreational drugs, as it has the same process and trademarks. And as with recreational drugs, the high of eating an “emotional meal/snack” is followed by a low, which usually just starts the cycle all over again.
Some common triggers include:
- Losing a job
- A sudden financial crisis
Emotional eating can sometimes reach such a state where certain emotions cause cravings for certain foods.
Questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether you have a healthy relationship towards food:
- Do I eat because I’m hungry, or are my emotions talking to me more than they should?
- Do I overindulge on occasion or do I have a regular routine of binge eating?
- Am I a mindless eater or do I savor my food most of the time?
- Am I obsessed with food?
- Am I constantly monitoring what I eat?
Developing healthier coping strategies:
- Pay attention to your body’s signs of actual hunger, and don’t skip meals.
- Be mindful when eating. Pay attention to your meal – sit down in a comfortable place and enjoy it.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Encourage yourself.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself when you slip up.
- Face your problems and negative feelings, it may be hard, but it’s healthy.
- Use your support system – call a friend to talk through any problems you may be having.
- Write it all down – a food journal is your friend.
- Get out of the house, exercise, read a book, take a bath – be good to yourself!
In some cases, it may be beneficial to see a therapist or psychologist who specializes in emotional eating. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness.
Changing negative, self-defeating thoughts into more positive constructive thoughts is key.
To help overcome “mindless eating” or eating when not hungry, it is of the utmost importance to control blood sugar levels through the right diet, exercise and a supplement like the Manna Blood Sugar Support.
The correct diet, like the Manna Diet, with exercise examples as given in the free e-book, can help you in the right direction. When you live a healthy lifestyle (diet and exercise), it is much easier to cope with stressful situations.
The Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement can help to control cravings and suppress appetite to prevent “mindless eating”, especially when you are not hungry.