- Emotional hunger or emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better.
- That is, we try to satisfy our emotional needs through food and eat for that reason instead of being physically hungry.
- Here are some things you can start to do to stop it.
If you sometimes find yourself running to the refrigerator for something to eat when you’re feeling sad or angry or sometimes find yourself binge eating, maybe you should know that these are common practices of emotional eating. It’s not real hunger that makes you eat on those occasions, it’s the emotional hunger.
What is emotional hunger
Emotional hunger or emotional eating is using food to feel better. That is, we try to satisfy our emotional needs through food and we eat for that reason instead of having a physical hunger, which is the need to nourish our body.
It is important that you realize that emotional hunger will never be satisfied with foodthat’s why when you eat something the feeling doesn’t go away, and you have that feeling of not being able to satisfy yourself.
The causes of emotional hunger: identify the triggers
In order to reduce or eliminate emotional hunger it is important that you can identify the causes of your behaviorWhat are the things that make you emotionally hungry? Usually the main cause of emotional hunger is due to having unpleasant feelings, but sometimes it can be due to positive emotions, such as rewarding yourself or achieving a goal or celebrating a holiday or a happy event.
How to stop emotional hunger
Emotional hunger is not easily removed by eating, even though you may feel relieved at first. Most of the time the original emotion doesn’t go away, and in fact, binge eating even makes you feel worse. This cycle is not going to end until you start facing your emotions.
Some things you can start doing are:
Find other ways to deal with stress
Discovering another way to deal with negative emotions is often the first step in overcoming the emotional one. This could mean writing in a personal journal, reading a book, or finding a few minutes to relax and let go of the stress of the day..
You need to experiment with different activities until you find the ones that really help you de-stress.
Move your body
Some people find relief in regular exercise. A walk or jog around the block or a quick yoga routine can help during particularly emotional times.
In one study, where people participated in eight weeks of yoga and were subsequently tested for their mindfulness and understanding, they were found to have higher levels of understanding of themselves and the situations around them. The results showed that regular yoga can be a useful preventative measure to help break free from emotional states such as anxiety and depression.
meditate a bit
Meditation is a practice that can really improve your life, it has been seen to be very effective in cases of stress and depressionbut it is also very helpful as a treatment for binge eating disorder and emotional eating.
If you think that meditation is not for you, simply try taking a deep breath and focus on your breath for a moment. This is something you can do anywhere and anytime. Sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing, try this exercise for a couple of minutes and then increase the time.
Use a food diary
Keeping track of what you eat and when you eat it can help you identify triggers that lead to emotional eating. Experts recommend that you focus not on calorie counts or how much you eat, but on what you eat, how you feel before, during and after you eat.
Forget about diets and restrictions, much of this causes you to have a lack of control over food, they generate stress and lead you to eat emotionally. Choose the intuitive feeding as a method to change the relationship you have with food and with your body, choosing food that nourishes you and makes you feel good physically.
Improve your relationship with food
Forbidding you to eat certain foods for fear of gaining weight or as part of a diet only causes you to maintain an emotional attachment to them. Food shouldn’t make you feel good or badHowever, with a diet mindset, the way you relate to food is likely to be more negative.
After a period of habituation and healing of the way you think about food, these foods that now attract you so much will stop having that value and will stop causing you that enormous desire to consume them in large quantities.
Practice mindful eating
Apply the principles of mindful eating to develop better eating habits. Eating slowly helps you to be more aware of the reasons why you are eating, as well as to know if you are already full. Also, eating without distractions helps you eat less and feel more satisfied.
When you engage all of your senses when you’re eating, you’re fully participating which helps you feel full faster and with less food.
Plus, this helps you develop the habit of paying attention to how you feel when you’re eating, so you’ll know when you’re eating to satisfy your emotional hunger or your physical hunger.
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