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There have been numerous occasions when you have found yourself staring at computer or smartphone screen displaying comfort food. This is emotional eating which does not let you add energy in your body either. Being different from the actual meaning of physical hunger, emotion eating influences one to indulge in cakes, candy or other carb filled foods that lead to obesity eventually.
What is Emotional Eating?
According to our ancestors, food should bring pleasure to the human soul and nourish the body. However, during the 21st Century, people are not concerned about consuming till their limit and show more interest in consuming food items with less protein and fiber. As one of the research studies, mood disorders and impairment of the nervous system are associated with abnormal eating behavior.
- Obesity increases the risk of depression and short-term emotions like joy and anger are the strongest stimuli of emotional eating.
- For the obese people, it becomes difficult to perceive their psychological state. Therefore, they overeat to get rid of the emotional
- Women are more likely to indulge themselves in food items like steaks, pasta and soups for undergoing the stages of guilt, depression or loneliness.
- Emotional eating is a part of overeating that is a type of addictive behavior.
As this eating pattern does not need positive or negative feeling and a study result claims that people are inclined to eat more when they are surrounded with positive vibes. But before you follow the steps of preventing this eating behavior, ask yourself a few questions.
Do You take Satisfying Meals?
It is important to understand when you get hunger pangs or feel full for maintaining a proper diet. If you do not follow a diet plan that makes you satisfied, you are likely to feel hungry always. If you crave for peanut butter, kale or any other veggies cannot offer you the satisfied feeling.
Hence, even if you are practically full, your tummy will want more from you. Moreover, sleep plays an important role in regulating stress, mood and hormones. Additionally, insomnia can leave you hungrier than ever and make you less satisfied, no matter how frequently you eat.
Are You Hungry for a Long Time or all of a Sudden?
When you are working four to five hours straight and realize that you have missed your lunch hour, you feel famished at once. However, if you have a desire of eating a specific food item at the moment, the desire might be the result of emotional eating. Physical hunger develops gradually where there is no qualm about what you are choosing to eat.
Are You Physically Hungry?
When you are following a weight loss plan or diet plan, your body will everything to feel nourished. There may be a contradicting situation when your body does not get enough leaving you with the feeling of becoming extra hungry. Now this type of hunger pangs only craves for fried food or sugar treats.
People blindly following diet plans for a long time without knowing what their body needs, are likely to be incapable of distinguishing between fullness and hunger.
Can You Wait to Eat?
The hunger because of emotional factors can be immediate and intense and at this moment, you should check whether you can actually wait before eating anything. Inquire yourself if there is any need for eating now and you can control yourself. If you are nauseating or fainting for not eating a morsel of food, you may be a victim of emotional hunger then.
Prevent Emotional Eating
You are working overtime, not getting enough sleep or food and leaving the home with a bad mood everyday – these all signs lead to stress or emotional eating and then health complications. When you are failing to cope with the cravings for specific food items, you should follow certain steps to keep the thoughts of emotional eating away and gain a healthy status.
By getting rid of comfort eating, an individual should pay attention to nourishing health and have enough energy in the body. When you are pulling your hair or stressing profusely, cortisol influences you to consume un-burned calories that only result in belly fat. The state of being full manages cortisol level and regulates heartbeat.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
After knowing your emotional triggers which can be sadness, anxiety, sadness or shame, you can understand that emotional eating is a huge problem in your life. According to a therapist, overeating is dependent on emotional reasoning because of aids in feeling better. However, this approach is very wrong when fat and carbs are taking over your body.
A therapist may recommend the dieter to follow certain strategies which can put the person off from sudden emotional hunger.
Understand the Difference between Cravings, Desire and Hunger
Many of the foodies in the world are unaware of the fact that there is a thin line between cravings, desire and hunger and you can easily distinguish them.
- Craving is getting the pangs of eating a certain dish out of the blue.
- Desire refers to the feeling hungry even after having a full-course meal.
- Hunger means that your body has not received for a long time; hence, the stomach is rumbling for being empty.
Keep Track of Your Mood
Fulfilling emotional hunger can make you a weight loss diet plan because, apparently, weight gain is interlinked with this behavior. Understanding what triggers you to go on binge eating, you need to track your moods. This activity also can give you an insight on whether certain people or circumstances are to be blamed for such eating behavior.
In this way, you can focus on maintaining a healthy relationship with and overpower your own hunger pangs.
Think before You Eat
When you get the strong urge to eat something, you need to take a moment and think about whether it is only a craving or physical hunger. It is found that craving can only go away after 20 minutes as it starts to lose power gradually. It is better to find a mental distraction such as calling a friend, going out for a walk, playing with a kid or doing chores which can help the craving to pass.
Go against Will
For comfort eating you may have a thousand reasons because going after craving makes you feel better even if it is not good for health. “I am stressed”, “I am feeling low” or “ I only need a piece of cake, I can make up for it a gym” – it is high time to bid goodbye to these excuses and challenge your own made-up excuses. Jot down the excuses and write productive thoughts against the whims for staying healthy.
Hit the Gym for Saying Goodbye to Emotional Eating
Going for therapies or eating the right kind of food is not enough for dealing with frequent cravings. The importance of working out has a special effect on the body by keeping up mental and physical health.
Stretch Your Limbs for Yoga
There are days when you cannot drag yourself out of the bed and eating your feelings seems to be the only right thing to do. Whether you are anxious, exhausted, agitated or simply sad, doing yoga for thirty minutes instead of devouring a doughnut can be more helpful.
- Fish pose can open throat and chest regulating blood flow. In this way, the blood stream remains filled with oxygen and you can minimize the anxiety or bad mood level to a minimum.
- Boat pose helps in strengthening limbs and you should keep your focus on the breath. Fighting negative thoughts, this yoga pose helps in making your mind calm.
- Balance pose is the key to maintaining the balance of mind and body simultaneously. Needless to say, getting relief from a chaotic state of mind, eagle pose or tree pose highly beneficial.
- Inversions such as headstand, big toe pose or downward dog pose contribute to maintaining a normal high blood pressure. Acting as a therapy, inversions improve hormone levels keeping mood disorders at bay.
As it is found that bad mood factors trigger emotional eating, performing yoga on a daily basis is likely to show a positive result on your health.
Whether it is Pilates, lifting weight or dancing, you should keep doing anything that you love. Moreover, keep it in mind that the activity must divert you from the hunger pangs that have been jeopardizing your physical health. Not only can you build a stress-free healthy body but also you can take a leap forward of healing yourself.
Go out for a Walk
If you take a walk for 2.5 hours per week, you can cut down the risks of cardiovascular diseases. 30 minutes of brisk walking can burn 150 to 200 calories that you have been storing for emotional eating.
- The simplest way to battle with stress eating is to go for a walk as an individual can manage to shed a great deal of fat, too.
- Boredom is often associated with food cravings and walking is capable of distracting your brain even for ten minutes or thirty minutes.
- It is better not to take the cellphone while walking in the park because the office calls or emails make you stressed untimely. The level of cortisol is maintained and in return, the body does not crave foods containing high carb.
- American Diabetes Association refers to the fact that walking burns calorie significantly. When you take 2400-6400 steps per day, you can burn the calories that you have stored by eating carbs.
You can go old school and take the music player with you for the walk so that good music always can distract you from the thing that has been bothering you.
Never Skip Breakfast
Apart from mood determinants, taking a complete breakfast full of nutrients is essential. Through breakfast, you can establish a positive connection with foods that can keep you going for the rest of the day.
- Oatmeal is loaded with fiber limiting the insulin intake effectively. Making you feel satisfied with a long period, bran cereal or oatmeal is a great choice. Moreover, “slow-release” carbohydrates burn more fat even if you take oatmeal three hours before working out.
- Eggs are rich in protein and making a person full for a long time. Moreover, there are hundreds of nutritious and delicious recipes (less fat and full of protein) that can diminish the habit of emotional eating
- Raspberries provide you with 8 gm of fiber per cup and filled with fiber that is great for weight management. Even if you crave for chocolate, you can make cocoa-chia pudding with raspberries and get your fill of nutrition.
- Greek yogurt is delicious and creamy which can satiate hunger and cut back the demand for emotional eating. The hormone levels of GLP-1 and PYY are increased so that you remain full by adding greek yogurt to the menu.
But if you crave carbs after waking up, you should remember that how badly this craving can affect the body. Pancakes and waffles, breakfast cereals, muffins, scones with jam and jam and cream, granola bars and sweetened non-fat yogurt are the worst breakfast choices.
Hence, the full breakfast decreases the craving for sugary treats or fatty meats on a large scale. In addition to the context, the breakfast ensures that you are being kind to yourself and keeps yourself out of the fatty foods.
Take a Moment for Yourself
Depriving yourself of your favorite food may positive result but it can leave an impact on your mental health for a long period. You are the one who controls what is good for you and take action that will not make you feel guilty afterwards. Ask yourself whether you can depend on a plant-based nutritional diet or find out the distinct features of emotional hunger and physical hunger to stay fit.
It is easy to fall back to old habits but the old habits are susceptible to do more harm than you could have ever imagined. Only if you know to take right kind of foods for fueling energy, proper workouts to burn calories and effective strategies to lighten up your mood, emotional eating can never defeat you in this battle. By taking yourself out from the negative environment and dealing with stress management, you can focus on self-love and self-care for nourishing each part of the body.