Emotional eating refers to the need to eat according to the emotional state we have, without necessarily feeling hungry. Emotional hunger or compulsive eating is an acute need for foods low in nutrition, salty or sweet. This type of food is called comfort food. Ice cream, chocolate, chips, fries, pasta, pizza, candy, but not only, are part of this category. If you want to know how you can combat emotional eating, read on.
Why emotional eating occurs?
The causes that lead to excessive food consumption are multiple. Women are more often at risk for emotional eating. Elevated levels of cortisol is one of the causes of excessive and uncontrollable appetite, as well as the desire to eat only certain foods. Food addiction occurs especially in those who have a constantly elevated blood level of cortisol. This seems to contribute to the development of repetitive patterns of emotional eating and the creation of reflex mechanisms to compensate with anxiety. The problem occurs more frequently in people who are subjected to permanent stress than in those who are stressed for temporary reasons.
Usually, there is a moment of comfort, and then the emotions get worse.There is also a feeling of helplessness in controlling your weight, which increases the feeling of guilt. Thus, a vicious circle of unhappiness is formed.
How to combat emotional eating?
The good news is that you can also learn self-discipline. Here are some things that you can do to get rid of emotional eating:
1.Analyzing the feeling of hunger
Analyzing the feeling of hunger to understand if it is physiological, real hunger or a false and emotional one. In a correct and honest food diary, we can find the fastest answer to the question: “how to abstain from food?”
2.Periodically give yourself time to relax
Not only on weekends or holidays, but at least every 2-3 days it is good to include activities that relax you. A walk, a movie, music, reading, surfing the internet or talking to a friend are activities that can keep away the compulsive need to eat.
3.Exercise as often as you can
Try to make time for exercise. Physical activity and light exercise, can help you get rid of the need to nibble permanently. You can try something new like a YouTube workout or jogging session or even a simple walk near your home.
Maintaining an adequate level of hydration is important for health and can also prevent stress-based eating.
5.Get rid of temptations
There are always healthy and low-calorie alternatives to your favorite unhealthy foods. Simple food preparation and changing ingredients can reduce calories and improve diet and nutrient intake.
If you have complexes related to personal image and anxiety, try to focus on rebuilding a healthy relationship with your own body and soul.