Emotional Eating can be Controlled

November 12, 2012

Emotional Eating can be Controlled

Emotional eating is eating when you have no hunger pangs at all. You are eating to feed a particular feeling that you are experiencing.

Studies have shown that instead of hunger making you want to eat it is your emotions which are triggering the need for food.

The difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger are listed below:

If you begin to eat and you know it has nothing to do with having an empty stomach and the craving is for a particular food, e.g. ice cream or pizza and that is the only food you want – nothing else will satisfy you then this is an example of emotional eating.

If you are physically hunger you can plan your meal but when it is related to emotions the food has to be eaten straight away.

If you are emotional eating you will keep on eating even when you feel full. But when you eat when you feel hungry you will more than likely stop when you reach the full up stage.

Guilt is often associated with emotional eating but when you eat when you are really hunger this emotion is not experienced.

A characteristic of emotional hunger is that you become focused on certain foods such as comfort food. Comfort foods are usually eaten to achieve or keep a certain feeling. These foods are associated with low moods as well as good moods.

It appears ice cream is top of the list of comfort food. Interestingly from number two onwards the list of comfort foods is broken down by gender. Women tend to choose the cookies and chocolate and men pick the steak, casserole and pizza.

The emotion that you are experiencing plays a significant role on which foods you will eat to feel satisfied. According to published studies people who were in a happier mood reached out for the steak or pizza. People who were experiencing a lower mood and felt sad chose the cookies and ice cream and for the bored it was potato chips.

If you are using food as a tactic to manage your emotions you will experience problems particularly if you are picking the unhealthy eating options to make you feel happy. When you eat and you don’t feel very hungry your body probably does not need the calorific value of the food. Extra calories will be stored as fat and this can lead to being overweight which in itself has risks.

It is important to overcome your pattern of emotional eating and this can be done by recognizing it. Keep a food diary and mark yourself from one to ten every time you eat something. This lets you see if and when you are eating for reasons other than hunger.

Learning new techniques to manage your emotions without eating is required. You have to start to learn how to manage your emotions without thinking that food is the answer.

Some self help tips in helping you deal with emotional eating include:

Clean your room, take a walk, call a friend. Try to keep your mind off cravings by keeping your mind active. And if you do feel you have to eat pick a healthy alternative instead of your comfort foods.

Recognize the triggers that make you want to emotionally eat.

Have a list of things you want to do when you experience the urge to eat when you don’t feel hungry.

For people who are on a diet they can find it very difficult to keep away from comfort foods and you will also find this hard. But the key is to keep everything in moderation. Instead of eating the large bag of chips, make smaller portions so when the urge comes on you are getting the taste but not the portion size.

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