What is Emotional Eating and How to Overcome it?

Emotional eating is a term used to describe a behavior where individuals turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or to cope with negative emotions. It’s a common experience that many people engage in at some point in their lives. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what emotional eating is, why it happens, and how you can overcome it.

What is Emotional eating?

Emotional eating is eating in response to emotions rather than physical hunger. When we’re hungry, our bodies send signals to our brains to let us know that we need to eat. However, with emotional eating, the desire to eat is not driven by hunger but rather by a range of emotions, such as stress, anxiety, sadness, boredom, or even happiness.

Why Does Emotional Eating Happen?

Emotional eating is often triggered by negative emotions or stressful situations. For example, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious about a work deadline, you may find yourself reaching for a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream as a way to cope with your emotions. Eating can provide a temporary distraction or a sense of comfort, but in the long run, it can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Moreover, emotional eating can also be a learned behavior that we pick up from our environment. For instance, if we grew up in a family where food was used as a reward or a way to cope with stress, we may have learned to use food as a coping mechanism as well.

emotional eating-woman-icecream

How to Identify Emotional Eating?

Emotional eating can be challenging to identify since it often feels like a normal response to stress or negative emotions. Nevertheless, there are some indications that you can be vigilant for:

  • Eating when you’re not physically hungry
  • Eating to cope with negative emotions
  • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating
  • Craving specific foods when feeling a certain emotion

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in yourself, you may be struggling with emotional eating.

How to Overcome Emotional Eating?

Overcoming emotional eating takes time and effort, but it’s possible. A few hacking tips are the following:

Recognize your triggers

Keep a food journal and write down what you eat, when you eat, and how you’re feeling. Identifying the emotions that come to the surface when you eat, will help you recognize patterns.

Discover new coping strategies

After pinpointing your triggers, establish alternative methods for handling your emotions. Participate in group sports, meditation, journaling, or enjoy quality time with loved ones.

Engage in mindful eating

Practice mindful eating by concentrating on the food you’re consuming and eating intentionally. Take the time to relish your meal, chew slowly, and appreciate the flavors and textures.

Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of your favorite foods, as this might lead to binge-eating episodes. Allow yourself to occasionally enjoy the foods you love, but exercise restraint.

Seek assistance

Tackling emotional eating can be tough, so having a support network is crucial. Reach out to friends, and family, or find a provider of THERA WELLNESS™ for encouragement and guidance.

emotional eating-woman-chocolate

To conclude, emotional eating is a widespread coping mechanism for negative emotions. However, it can result in overeating and long-term weight gain. By recognizing your triggers, discovering new coping strategies, and engaging in mindful eating, you can overcome emotional eating and cultivate a healthy relationship with food.

for a healthier weight loss

Smart Wellness Technology


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