Dealing with Emotional Eating
How do you usually react when something, especially something that causes you stress or sadness, happens choma? Do you prefer to talk about it or do you usually find that the first thing you do is head straight to the fridge or cupboard?
Eating at a time when you’re not really hungry but actually in a more emotional state, whether happy or sad, is emotional eating. If you’re an emotional eater, you actually find comfort in eating because you feel like eating makes you feel better.
But emotional eating only makes you feel better for that brief moment choma but in the long term it can have negative effects. Emotional eating leads to weight gain, poor health, a low self-esteem and even self-hate.
Signs of being an emotional eater:
You crave food suddenly
Hunger doesn’t usually happen all-of-a-sudden meaning that you won’t normally go from being full to suddenly being hungry. If you find that you experience this often (sudden hunger, especially when your mood or emotion changes), then you might be an emotional eater
You crave a specific type of food
When you’re really hungry, you’re usually open to more than just one food option. Emotional eaters crave very specific food and might say things like “I need to have cake right now”.
You need to satisfy your hunger immediately
When you’re just physically hungry you’re able to wait a little longer if you can’t get food right away. With emotional eating you’re not as patient and will make even more of an effort to get your hands on food, no matter where you are or what time it is.
You find it harder to become full
With emotional eating it feels harder to satisfy your hunger. You also don’t notice how much you’re eating and end up eating way too much.
You feel guilty after you eat
With normal hunger you wouldn’t feel guilty if you ate but with emotional eating you know deep down that you didn’t eat because you were hungry and this makes you feel bad. You also hide your eating from others because of guilt and being scared of what others might think.
How can I stop emotional eating?
If you’ve read through the above signs and recognised that you might be an emotional eater choma then you’re already at the first step: Be aware.
Once you know that your overeating is triggered by emotions then you can take steps to keeping yourself from reaching for food whenever you feel a certain way.
The next step is to replace your bad cravings with healthier options. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips or chocolates choma, try sipping on tea instead. Black tea can actually be calming and filling at the same time. You should also try calming exercises like breathing deeply in and out or giving yourself a massage. Just giving yourself a foot rub can make you feel a bit better.
Now you need to open up. It’s very important that you find a healthy way to deal with your feelings choma. Not expressing your feelings is what makes you turn to food instead. You can start by writing how you feel in a diary or journal if you don’t want to speak to anyone just yet. When you feel ready, speak to someone that you’re comfortable with. Connecting with others will help you deal with your feelings much better.
Remember that you can always talk to me. I respond to your private messages so you can send me a message on Ask Choma at any time.
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