‘What drives you to food? Is it Hunger, or is it Emotions.’
Do you run for food when you are angry, sad, stressed, or anxious? Do you feel emotionally better when you eat junk or unhealthy food? Do you feel guilty after eating junk? Well, here are some of the questions that can help you identify if you are stress eating.
Now Let’s Understand What The Causes Of Stress Eating Are?
Frankly, any emotional state can evoke the desire to eat. From an angry boss to a stressful traffic ride, the reason could be big or small. Psychologically, the stress eaters use the food mechanism to fill the void created due to emotions. Food gives them a sense of fulfillment and helps to combat feelings for some time.
The negative part about stress eating is that during this stage, it is only the unhealthy food that you are attracted to. You would never see someone eating salads, during stress, your mind would only crave for a certain kind of food.
Unconsciously, to feel emotionally better, we destroy our bodies. Thus, it is essential to understand the difference between stress eating and real hunger.
- Real hunger comes at regular intervals as per your meal timings, whereas emotional hunger can go anytime and with greater urgency.
- If you are hungry, you will eat a proper meal with items that are good for your health. Emotional eating will arouse the craving for junk.
- A certain quantity of food will fill your hunger, but when you are eating due to stress, then you will continue eating until you feel emotionally fulfilled.
- Food consumed due to real hunger will not make you feel guilty, but post emotional eating, you are sure to feel guilty about the food you just ate.
I am sure by now, you must have identified if you fall under the category of stress eaters, but do not worry. There are ways in which you can put an end to this impulsive behavior.
Write Down Your Emotions
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordsworth
Rather than taking refuge in food, that can only help you feel better for some time, try penning down your feeling in your secret diary, the sense of sharing your stress with someone who does not judge you will be far more lasting and effective than eating unhealthy food, that makes you feel guilty.
“All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.”
― Julio Cortázar
Every time you feel you want food to overcome stress, distract yourself. Watch your favorite comedy movie, call an old friend, take your pet out for a walk, do one act of kindness. The world outside is lovely, but you can only feel the goodness when you come out of your small grief and experience the strength of your larger self.
Dance It Away
“While I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance.” – Hans Bos
Since the early 1950s, Dance has been used just not as a form of artistic expression but as a powerful method of dealing with emotions. Research proves that a combination of music, light, movement, and the involvement of all the senses in one activity can provide a non-medical treatment for depression.
So, next time you feel sad because someone hurt you, put on a rocking number, and dance your heart out. I guarantee you will be better and happier.
10 Minutes Of Meditation
“Everything is created twice, first in mind and then in reality.” ― Robin Sharma
Meditation is useful in many cases to combat binge-eating syndrome. Just 10 minutes of breathing exercise can help you manage your emotions better and get you into a higher level of self- awareness. Try focussing on your breath for 2 minutes, and you will see how you can control your mind, without any effort.
Clear The Junk
“Keep the good around, and shall see beauty everywhere.”
Keep the junk away from your home. You can either give it away or dispose of them so that next time you are emotionally down and are craving for unhealthy food, you do not find them around. Do not worry, if you don’t see the junk food, your mind will automatically suggest other healthy ways of dealing with the empty void. So, look around your kitchen and clean it of all the junk that is slowly destroying your health.
Focus On The Food You Eat
“The true joy of eating is to be conscious that another life is willing to merge and
mingle with your own life and become a part of you.” – Sadhguru
If you focus on your food while eating, you will get to know if you are emotionally eating. When you chew every bit, just concentrating on what you are eating, then you will be able to judge the impact of good food vs. unhealthy junk. So, put your phones, TV, music, and books off while eating and see how you consciously give up on emotional eating.
Set A Target For Yourself
“Action achieves ambition.” ― Amit Kalantri
Pull out the dress that does not fit you anymore. Now, determined to fit into the same outfit and decide a time frame. We all love to look our best, and this motivation can be a turning point in keeping your mind away from stress eating. The stronger your motivation gets, the closer you will get to your goal.
Seek For Help
“Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Most of the time, we prefer to stay alone when we are emotionally broken, we feel loneliness can help us cope with the situation better, but it is the other way. Call a friend or go out with a friend, even if it is just for a cup of coffee. Your dear one can help you come out of the situation faster. So, do not hesitate; almost everyone is going through something; we can come out of any form of depression if we have people around us.
Visit A Counselor
“You can say things in the therapist’s office, with the therapist present, that would be incendiary or hurtful in your living room.” – Laura Wasser
Emotional eating can be medically treated; that is what first needs to be accepted. A counselor can help you release emotional stress through therapy and medication. Over a period, you will find yourself dealing with stress and heartbreaks with much more strength. Only you need help and the trained counselor to help you with scientific techniques to heal your mind.
“You are a product of your mind, so once to train your thoughts, nothing in life is difficult to overcome.”