According to many studies, there is a relationship between our feelings and our eating. Many people still wonder why negative emotion and positive emotion could drive them to pick different food kind. For instance, when a person is in a bad mood, they tend to choose fast food. While a person is in a good mood, they may turn to choose a healthy food option like vegetables or low carbs diet.
Food and emotional hardship
Sometimes, eating could provide temporary consolation to negative feelings such as stress, depression, sadness, anger, self-hate, guilt, boredom, and so on. While, hunger could lead to numbing and emotional body awareness. The wrong sense of not being out of control could be caused by Limiting the food intake is a wrong way to keep your eating under control. It could also lead to anorexia, a condition making a person suffer from inappetence. On the other hand, you may feel starving when you are at the worst emotional situation. As a result, you might unconsciously or consciously turn to food for comfort whenever you have to face with emotional hardship.
Moreover, eating based on your emotion could interfere your weight-loss efforts. Food also serves as a distraction if you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict. For instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation. When you cannot control your emotion, you could hardly control the food intake. It usually leads to eating too many unhealthy foods. They are usually foods that are rich in sweet, fat and carbs- the basic agents to ease our mind.
How to break the emotional eating habit
In order to break this emotional eating habit, it’s recommended to keep a journal of your daily food intake and emotions in the week. During this experiment week, you don’t have to change the food you want to eat. Your assignment is to ask yourself two important questions: “Am I eating to ease my emotions?” and “Do I really hungry?”. After that, you need to answer these questions honestly. If you ate just a few hours ago and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not hungry. Instead of snacking when you’re not hungry, distract yourself and substitute a healthier behavior. Take a walk, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, surf the Internet or call a friend. After picking your proper solution, you should have a look at your food choices for a week.
In conclusion, what you reach for when eating to satisfy an emotion depends on the specific emotions experienced at the time. It gradually becomes an unconditional habit to ease the unpleasant feeling and to stop consciously noticing what the body is feeling.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: December 26, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
How emotions affect eating: a five-way model. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17707947. Accessed October 27, 2016.
Feeding Your Feelings: How Emotions Affect Eating Habits. http://healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu/news/2013/01/feeding-your-feelings-how-emotions-affect-eating-habits/. Accessed October 27, 2016.
Emotional influences on food choice: sensory, physiological and psychological pathways. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16545403. Accessed October 27, 2016.