More often than not weight gain can be related to emotional eating. There is a big difference between eating because of your emotions and how you feel and actual physical hunger. Understanding the difference between the two will help you indentify your eating triggers and hopefully help you on your pathway to health and happiness.
Firstly, How do you tell the difference?
Emotional hunger comes on quickly whereas physical hunger will usually occur gradually.
When you are eating to feed your emotions you crave a particular food, generally junk food, and only that food will fill that void. On the other hand if you are actually hungry you would be much more open to various food options.
Emotional hunger needs to be satisfied instantly and cannot wait whereas physical hunger can.
Usually if you are emotionally eating to fill a void you will eat larger quantities and will be more likely keep eating even after you are full. Eating for hunger is different, as you will stop when you’re full, as you feel satisfied.
After feeding your emotions you may feel guilty about what you just ate, whereas eating for hunger will not make you feel like that.
Secondly, what are your eating triggers?
SOCIAL EATING, I feel is a big one for some of our clients. Eating while you are with other people for fear of standing out or being left out. Or even feeling inadequate around other people can cause you to eat in excess.
EATING WITH YOUR EMOTIONS, another main cause of weight gain. It can be a number of things boredom, stress, fatigue, anger, sadness or loneliness, depression or even anxiety. Any of these emotions can lead you to eat to try and fill that void you feel or distract you from feeling distress.
LOCATION has a lot to do with eating for the sake of it. Such things as catching up with friends or family, going to shows, sporting events, movies, watching TV etc. It becomes more of a habit than you actual being physically hungry.
BAD THOUGHTS may cause you to eat more because of your feeling of self worth and self esteem issues, how you feel about the way you look etc.
Indentifying your eating triggers and being truthful with yourself about the real reason you overeat can really open doors to fixing and dealing with issues head on and moving forward in the right direction. Your weight loss will then follow suit. You will be much happier in yourself and your body will thank you.
Emotional eating can quickly become a habit, and it is about breaking that habit and admitting its there. Its not as easy as saying just stop eating, you have to replace that habit with a new one, and hopefully a better one. Instead, Go for a walk, go exercise, make a fresh juice, take a bath, ring a friend, do a job you’ve been meaning to do, like mow the lawn or wash the car, get you nails painted, take some deep breaths, do 20 push ups. Basically do anything pleasurable or positive until your urge to eat passes. Soon you will create a new, more positive habit. Stop eating away your emotions and deal with them head on, you will feel free and look great!