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Emotional Eating

May 10, 2017 / Nutrition, Weight Loss

Food and Emotions

 

Food is often linked with our emotions. Whether we’re stressed and need a “pick me up” or whether we’re happy and celebrating with “a few drinks” we’ve been conditioned to eat and drink based on how we’re feeling.

The Relationship Between Food and Emotions

Take a quick look back on your last three days of your food. Do you notice any trends at all?

Maybe you eat at a similar time each day. Maybe you eat similar foods for lunch every day. Search out and try to find an anomaly. Look for something that is not typical for you to eat, either in food choice or quantity.

Hopefully the last three days are still current enough in your mind but really think hard back to that outlier meal and try to remember what was going on at that point in your day.

Were you stressed out about something at work?
Did you just receive some bad news?
Were you feeling anxious about your finances?
Did you just have a fight with your significant other?

 

There can be a major link between emotions and your food choices. This is something to try to be very aware of and an act that you can train yourself to control.

 

Emotional Eating

We tend to turn to food for comfort, stress relief or even a reward. However, emotional eating never actually fixes our emotional problems. Most of the time we feel worse afterward.

Here are seven quick questions to determine if you are an emotional eater:

  • 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 (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • 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?

 

If you answered YES to at least three of these questions, you might be stuck in an unhealthy emotional eating cycle. The best thing to do is recognise it and use your food journal as a way to break this habit.

By requiring yourself to write down your choices, you can help recognise whether you are actually experiencing emotional hunger or physical hunger.

Try to recognize your emotional triggers and keep track of them in your food journal. This will make it even easier when looking back to see if there are common patterns going on.

 

Emotional hunger is not satisfied by a full stomach.


Review:

  1. Emotions have a major impact on our food choices.
  2. You can use your food journal to help recognise these patterns.
  3. Take the 7 question quiz to see if you are an emotional eater.

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