We need food to survive, our body gets its nutrients from food but sometimes we can go overboard with our eating habits and it can result in weight gain. One reason for this for some people is emotional eating and I’ve talked about this before and given some tips for overcoming emotional eating. I should first say, I am not an expert or a doctor but I’m an emotional eater who can eat when she’s happy or sad and food is a comfort for me. This is just based on my own experience and if you read the other articles I’ve written on the topic you’ll find helpful resources from experts.
Emotional eating can be hard to overcome and though it ends with the scale it all begins in the mind. Stress, past trauma, issues with work or family – it all takes its toll on your life. This stress can compromise the body’s defenses and your health takes a hit and so do your emotions. I can see this in my own life and my skin breaks out, I’m lethargic, etc.
Life is all about the good days and bad days, we can’t always have the perfect day but how we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play. When you’re sad, down in the dumps it is normal to turn to comfort foods, it’s a coping mechanism. It happens to be why Ben & Jerry can be a girl’s best friend! In fact when you eat pleasurable foods it can stimulate the release of endorphins just like exercise, so, after you eat you feel better.
Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress, I can relate I do this! Some emotional eaters might hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems. I personally don’t do this but I know of people that do.
But, how do you know you are using food in this way? The first sign is obvious. You will gain weight if you eat too much. In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:
- Have you been under stress lately at work or at home?
- Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
- Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?
If you really believe you have an issue there is help for emotional eaters. You can check out a few of my tips but like all issues the first step is recognizing that you have a problem. Feeling guilty about how much you eat and eating as a coping mechanism can be overwhelming, guilt makes a person too helpless. I’ve heard counseling can be very beneficial and there are many types of counselors out there to meet your needs to help you overcome you’re eating habits and gaining control of your emotions.
Personally for me I’ll tried to learn about my triggers to see why I’m overeating so I’m more aware of my choices. I’ve heard yoga enhances the mind and body connection to help you not eat when you aren’t hungry. For me, I enjoy walking and taking time for myself. A support of friends also struggling with their weight has been very helpful. Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will help you push food out of the equation.
What solutions do you use to overcome emotional eating triggers?