Do you B-Line to the fridge when feeling down or upset?
Finding solace from food is familiar, and is called emotional eating.
Emotional eating is more common in women than men, and its when we reach out to food when emotional, possibly several times a week to suppress negative feelings.
By Emotionally eating we add to these feelings - guilt and shame for reaching to food for comfort, which leads to a cycle of excess eating and in turn weight gain.
The emotions we eat can be work Stress, Financial worries, Health issues, Relationship struggles, Sleep deprivation, depression.... the list is endless.
Why do we reach to food for comfort, negative emotions can lead to feeling empty or have an emotional void. Food is believed to be a way to fill that void to create a false sense of 'Fulness'.
Other Factors embrace:
Retreating from social support during times of emotional need.
Not Engaging in activities that might otherwise relieve stress, sadness, and so on.
Not Understanding the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
Using negative self-talking that related to bingeing episodes. This can create a cycle of emotional eating.
Changing cortisol levels in response to stress, leading to cravings.
Physical Hunger develops slowly over time.
Emotional Hunger happens all of a sudden.
Physical Hunger allows you to desire a variety of food groups
Emotional Hunger limits you to carving specific foods
Physical Hunger allows you to recognise you reaching satiety
Emotional Hunger does not have a limitation gauge, you never feel full
Physical Hunger does not leave you with a negative feeling about eating
Emotional Hunger leaves you with feelings of guilt and shame.
Emotional hunger isn't something we can stamp out by feeding it with food, which we all recognise, as it doesn't end the cycle. We need to reach out to the appropriate support to address the emotional needs head on.
Whether it's sharing with your partner, friend, nurse, doctor, specialist.... we need to find alternative ways to cope and decompress.
Remember to practice the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding techniques.
Using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, you will purposefully take in the details of your surroundings using each of your senses. Strive to notice small details that your mind would usually tune out, such as distant sounds, or the texture of an ordinary object.
What are 5 things you can see? Look for small details such as a pattern on the ceiling, the way light reflects off a surface, or an object you never noticed.
What are 4 things you can feel? Notice the sensation of clothing on your body, the sun on your skin, or the feeling of the chair you are sitting in. Pick up an object and examine its weight, texture, and other physical qualities.
What are 3 things you can hear? Pay special attention to the sounds your mind has tuned out, such as a ticking clock, distant traffic, or trees blowing in the wind.
What are 2 things you can smell? Try to notice smells in the air around you, like an air freshener or freshly mowed grass. You may also look around for something that has a scent, such as a flower or an unlit candle.
What is 1 thing you can taste? Carry gum, candy, or small snacks for this step. Pop one in your mouth and focus your attention closely on the flavors.