Through the eyes of a nutritionist: Eating under the influence of emotions

Emotional eating is a very common behavior that turns into an annoying problem over time.

Photo: jacobchuk / 123rf.com

Food accompanies us when celebrating successes, in moments of joy, or when spending time with loved ones. Unfortunately, we often reach for food when we are feeling sad, looking for solace in it, and when we are stressed in order to reduce stress in response to negative emotions. You will learn about what emotional eating is, what its negative effects are and how to deal with it in the next article in the “The Eye of a Dietitian” series.

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Eating stress, while relieving it initially, is not a good way to de-stress in the long term. Over time, eating under the influence of emotions becomes very unpleasant. An emotional eater cannot deal with difficult feelings any other way. Often the result of excessive eating is weight gain, poor health and poor well-being.

The hardest part about all of this is that emotional eating does so almost automatically. For her, eating becomes the only known solution that brings her instant relief in difficult times. If such a person drank sweets repeatedly as a result of stressful situations, then his brain recorded and automated this behavior as beneficial and encouraging. In the long run, taking this emotionally and not being able to deal with feelings in any other way becomes a huge problem for most people, not a helpful solution.

However, there are ways to change this habit and make your feelings independent of food. How do I do it?

vigilance of food

Just realizing that you have a problem with emotional eating is the first step to change for the better. Paying attention to ourselves and our behavior will help us deal with annoying problems. If you have a problem with emotional eating, try to start catching the spontaneous moments when you get to it and ask yourself the questions: Why am I eating? Am I really hungry? sad (s)? presses out? Or maybe annoyed by a certain situation?

In all of this we should try to be as aware as possible while eating and to know if we are eating, because we are already feeling hungry and the time is right for a meal, or perhaps we are tormented by out-of-control feelings.

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Nutritionists and obesity treatment

Eating stress, while relieving it initially, is not a good way to de-stress in the long term.

Eating stress, while relieving it initially, is not a good way to de-stress in the long term.

Photo: na2xa / 123rf.com

Find an alternative to eat

If you are overeating, for example, to de-stress, try to think carefully about what might do the same. Think about what you like and what might make you feel calm. An alternative behavior might be reaching for a book and reading a few pages or watching an episode of your favorite series?

An activity like walking, gym, bike, or something else you enjoy is also a good option. For many people, it also works to put feelings on paper, as does talking to a loved one. You have to discover for yourself what is best for you.

Practice new habits

Just finding other ways to deal with difficult feelings is not enough to overcome the automatic behavior that has been ingrained in us for years. It will not be a simple and fun process. You need a lot of energy to learn new habits. Despite the fact that at first you can still get to the proven method of snacking, over time you will notice that your work is producing positive results. Increasingly, you will abstain from eating while you are emotional. Training makes perfect, so don’t give up. Controlling your emotions, if you have resorted to eating so far, will bring you contentment and complacency. In addition, it will greatly facilitate life and protect against the negative effects of such a procedure.

summary

Emotional eating is a very common behavior that turns into an annoying problem over time. Once we realize this, it is worth starting to work on introducing changes and learning new ways of dealing with the feelings that we cannot escape. If independent attempts do not bring the expected results, then it is worth seeking help from a specialist, for example, a dietitian-psychotherapist, a psychologist or a psychotherapist.

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