Have you ever had a day where you wanted to drown your sorrows in chocolate ice cream? Most of us have had those days when we just cannot seem to stop eating, but very few of us actually understand what triggers emotional eating. If you can identify the reason you are suddenly eating everything in your house, you can take the steps needed to fix the problem. Here are 7 causes of emotional eating that might be triggering your binges.
One of the most common reasons we tend to start eating is stress. The physical effects of emotional stress often mirror the effects of physical labor in our brains, so our body tells us that we need to eat in order to replace the calories we are burning. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips when you start to feel stress, try to force yourself to relax. You should take yoga, go for a long walk, or soak in the bath tub.
By nature, humans are social creatures. We do not like to be alone. When we are lonely we tend to feel like something is missing. We use food to help fill the void. The best way to cancel out the loneliness is to go out and do something. The chances are pretty good that your local community center will offer some type of class where you will be able to learn a new skill and meet new people.
For some reason when we are bored, we tend to reach for something to eat. This is probably one of the easiest forms of emotional eating to fix. Instead of grabbing a sandwich, get outside and do something. The world is full of things that you can do that will engage your mind and make you forget your appetite.
Sometimes it seems like we use PMS as an excuse for everything, but it can be one of the reasons that we start to eat. The fluctuation of the hormones during this period of time makes us moody and bloated. Before we know what is happening, we have eaten an entire bag of Oreos. The only way to deal with this type of emotional eating is to try to keep the snacks healthy, drink lots of raspberry tea (it will help with the cramps), and stay active.
A lot of emotional eaters use food as a source of comfort when they are feeling sad or depressed. Whenever you are feeling a little blue you should watch something funny (BBC comedies are a great antidote for sadness) or call up a friend who always manages to make you feel better. If the sadness continues, you will want to see the doctor because you could be developing mild depression.
If you have a lot of pent up anger, it is easy to reach for food to stuff down these emotions. Eating is something you can control, whereas whatever made you angry is out of your control. Don’t fall into this trap and pound out your frustrations on the pavement by going for a brisk walk instead.
7. Bad Company
Sometimes the cause of your emotional eating is not due to your emotions but someone else’s. If you are hanging around someone who is stressed or depressed, they can transfer their emotions, and cravings on to you.
If you are starting to delve into a period of emotional eating, try to stop and figure out what is going on inside. Are you upset? Bored? Take a time out and address the reason you are diving into the pantry before you indulge in another emotional eating feast. How do you handle emotional eating in your life?
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