Emotional and stress eating is the reason why so many diets can fail. Emotional hunger is REAL and many of us use food to make ourselves feel better. You might reach for a container of ice cream when you’re feeling down, order a pizza if you’re bored or lonely, or find yourself in a fast food outlet after a long stressful day with the kids or at work.
Unfortunately, emotional hunger cannot be filled with food.
Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you’ve just consumed.
Occasionally using food as a pick-me-up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But, for some of us eating can become our primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re stressed, upset, angry, lonely, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.
Did you know that bingeing on a packet of chips is directly linked to stress – that constant chewing on something crispy alleviates our stress. And, that Japanese researchers claim that chewing on gum for 10 minutes can reduce stress!
No matter how powerless you feel over food and your feelings, it is possible to make a positive change. You can find healthier ways to deal with your emotions, and learn to eat mindfully to regain control of your weight, and finally put a stop to emotional eating.
- Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
- Do you eat to feel better (when you’re lonely, sad, bored, anxious,)?
- Do you reward yourself with food?
- Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
- Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
- Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?
Here are some clues you can look for to help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.
Emotional hunger comes on suddenly.
Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods.
Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating.
Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full.
Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a practice that develops your awareness of eating habits and allows you to pause between your triggers and your actions.
I can help you achieve your goal through on-going support and motivation. By being a source of encouragement and accountability I will help set you on your path to health.