Favorite cake after a hard day at work, pizza with a double filling after a quarrel with a loved one, an extra cake for pleasant get-togethers with friends. If you are familiar with these situations, then you are prone to emotional overeating.
We often turn to food for “help” in difficult situations, because thanks to it, for a while, it is possible to achieve mental comfort and forget about problems. And sometimes in this way we try to reward ourselves by allowing us to eat more than we should. Unfortunately, the joy of this is short-lived, and soon we are on our way back to the refrigerator in search of something edible.
What is this phenomenon?
Physical hunger occurs when the body needs to replenish wasted energy. What is emotional hunger? Such food intake is a bad habit and is accompanied by uncontrolled and often excessive consumption of food.
Most often this is due to a stressful state or, conversely, a state of enthusiasm and high spirits. Such a habit in most cases is nothing more than “seizing” their problems during the absence of physical hunger, that is, the desire to eat appears subconsciously, and not when the stomach begins to rumble.
Where do legs grow from?
Situations accompanied by stress, excitement and various negative emotions contribute to the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. And he, in turn, increases the feeling of hunger. Therefore, a person unconsciously reaches for the next portion of food, even if there is always a free vest to cry and throw out his problems.
In addition, our memories from childhood can become the cause of emotional overeating, according to psychologists. After all, almost every adult will remember how a grandmother, as a sign of consolation after a broken knee or for praise for an A, fed something delicious.
First of all, emotional overeating threatens to aggravate existing problems, because a person falls into a vicious circle: trying to solve a problem, we seize it, after a while it “pops up” again, and we try to seize it again. This leads to an understanding of hopelessness, stress and lingering depression.
Secondly, those who want to lose weight know exactly how such a habit is still dangerous – 75% of people cannot lose extra pounds because of it, and more than 50% of those suffering from emotional overeating gain excess weight over time.
This is because stress or excessive joy requires a certain taste, and vegetables, fruits, or other light foods are not on this list. A person subconsciously chooses foods that are sources of fast carbohydrates, which, when broken down, “throw” a large dose of endorphins into the bloodstream.
Is there a way out?
If you find yourself with a tendency to emotional overeating, or even notice specific examples of it, this will be the first step to getting rid of the problem. Try to systematically observe your behavior and note how often you resort to this method of “improving your state of mind.”
But what if such raids on the refrigerator have already become the norm for you?
- Diary. One of the easiest ways to control. Celebrate each day what you eat and how your day is going. After a week, you will be able to draw the first conclusions about your real state of mind and eating behavior.
- Alternative. Try to find some useful (or at least not so harmful) substitute for emotional overeating. It can be sports, cleaning, walking, extreme entertainment.
- Hide sweets. Make sure that when entering the kitchen, all the most delicious, and especially the sweets, are out of sight. You don’t need extra temptations.
- Breath. Psychologists advise in stressful situations to learn to breathe deeply, this will help saturate the body with oxygen and switch attention to something else.
The main rule of preventing emotional overeating is to control your emotions, do not let them take over you, and then you will not be afraid of any problems.