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Emotional Eating: the practice of finding comfort in food is common and if unregulated can lead to eating complications. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can cope up with emotional eating.
Do you find yourself reaching for a bar of chocolate or a bowl of ice cream when you are upset? Well, finding comfort in food is common and is part of a practice called Emotional Eating.
People who emotionally eat are found to do so several times a week to suppress their negative feelings. They may later regret on doing so and this becomes a vicious cycle leading to multiple eating disorders and weight related stress
What causes someone to eat emotionally? Anything from work stress to financial woes, health issues and even relationship struggles can be the root cause of emotional eating. It’s an issue which affects both sexes, but is more common in women than in men.
Why does one reach for food?
Well, negative emotions may lead to a feeling of emotional void and food is believed to be a way to fill that void and create a false feeling of fullness or temporary wholeness.
Hence, when we are upset we often look for sweets, because sugar releases dopamine which makes us temporarily happy.
Well, emotional hunger comes about suddenly where you crave for only certain foods. You may binge on a certain food and later feel guilty or ashamed for doing so.
So how can one stop emotional eating? Here is a step-by-step guide on:
Some people find relief in regular exercise. Studies have proved that regular exercise helps in diffusing emotional states like anxiety and depression, and this prevents emotional eating.
If you eat well throughout the day, you will be able to spot when you are eating out of boredom or negative feelings. Still having trouble? Try to reach for healthy snacks like fruits, carrots, cucumber, yoghurt and satiate your emotional hunger.
It could be chips, ice cream, chocolates or snacks. Keeping the foods out of reach when you’re emotional will help you break the cycle and reach for healthier foods.
Emotional eating if left unaddressed can lead to binge-eating disorders. It is important to seek medical help if your eating patterns are out of control. You may be referred to a dietitian who will help you address both the mental and physical side of emotional eating.
Image source: Alena Darmel, from pexels, free on CanvaPro
I am a dietitian by profession,blogger by passion. I regularly blog on health,fitness and mental and physical wellbeing.For more such interesting articles watch this space. read more...
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