Emotional eating is using food as a means of dealing with negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger, stress, frustration, boredom, or sadness. It’s using food to divert us from our feelings or to makes us feel good temporarily since they are “comfort” foods.
Facts About Anxiety & Emotional Eating
• Symptoms of anxiety are often present when eating mentally
• It may also be present in Conditions of blood glucose swinging up and down
• Blood glucose levels exacerbates emotional responses making someone even more prone to emotional eating
• Try to figure out the cause of your anxiety
• Most Emotional Eating is due to anxiety – dig deep and find out exactly what are you afraid of.
• It could be something on a subconscious level you’re unaware of so find a counsellor to help discover what it is.
• Physically, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol increase lactic acid levels in the bloodstream. Studies have shown that a high accumulation of lactic acid in the body can increase anxiety and cause anxiety attacks.
• Blood sugar swinging low or high may also makes us feel stressed – it may increase emotional reactions and trigger cravings which will cause us to consume more foods that increase blood glucose, thus making us more vulnerable to psychological ups and down and eating binges.
Good Bacteria and Anxiety
Recent studies have found a link between the bacteria in our gut and our disposition. Issues like stress, irritability and depression can result.
“To affirm that bacteria can affect behaviour, the investigators colonized germ-free mice with bacteria obtained from mice with a distinct behavioural pattern. They discovered that when germ-free mice with a genetic background related to passive behavior were colonized with bacteria from mice with greater socioeconomic behavior, they became more lively and adventuresome. Similarly, normally active mice became more passive after getting bacteria from mice whose genetic heritage is related to passive behavior.
While previous research has focused on the role bacteria play in brain development early in life, latest research suggests that although many factors determine behavior, the nature and stability of bacteria in the gut appear to affect behaviour and any disturbance, from antibiotics or disease, might produce changes in behavior.
While there’s far more to learn, we can help ourselves by eating fermented foods which promote good gut health. Eating fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha can help. Try different probiotic supplements too to determine which ones can help you feel better. Aside from mood changes, you will also notice digestive enhancements as a whole.
How to Know If You’re Hungry?
Ask yourself these questions:
• When did I eat – has it been a couple of hours or I just ate?
• Does your tummy feel empty?
• Is it rumbling?
• Are you hungry?
• Are you nervous?
• Are you tired?
• Are you angry or depressed?
Answering these questions can help you know if you’re really hungry or responding emotionally and using food to manage the emotional feelings. Thirst may also be mistaken for hunger, so drinking water frequently between meals can stop this feeling.
Tips For Taming Emotional Eating
• Take away temptation
• Develop new hobbies and activities that you enjoy
• Redirect your focus on something else, Perhaps a task or telephone a friend
• Find healthful snacks that give you the same buzz
• Don’t deprive yourself
• Learn from the emotional eating collection backs
• Develop stress management and relaxation techniques
• Keep blood glucose levels stable
• Drink Plenty of water
• Control Stress
• Do a desire check
• Keep a food journal
• Develop a supportive network
• Fight boredom
• Get outdoors in nature (walking is a great alternative )
• Speak to a counsellor
When To Seek Professional Help
• Your eating issues are becoming too frequent
• You feel out of control
• It’s interfering with your quality of life/making you sick
• It’s causing problems with your friends, family or your job
Then, find a counsellor who makes you feel comfortable and that you can speak to.
Deal with Emotional Eating
Dealing with emotional eating can be difficult because sometimes it’s been engrained in us since childhood. Continue to work on the issues rather than be afraid or embarrassed to ask for support. Also know that each and every time you catch yourself you start to break the habit. There’s a way out and you can be free from emotional eating.