We all know that emotional eating is consuming large quantities of food – usually comfort foods, junk foods or foods in which we feel are satisfying.
We eat these in response to feelings primarily instead of hunger. It is estimated that 75% of over eating is caused by emotions.
The feeling of being satisfied after comfort eating can sometimes only be short term, however with the reasoning’s behind comfort eating normally relating to emotional problems the cycle normally continues rather than us problem solving to resolve our initial concerns.
Some of the reasoning’s can include depression, boredom, loneliness, anger, anxiety, stress, to name but a few. Sufferers respond to stress and other factors by eating, even when not hungry, often high-calorie or high-carbohydrate foods that have minimal nutritional value.
The foods that emotional eaters crave are often referred to as comfort foods, like ice cream, cookies, chocolate and cake.
By identifying the triggers our emotional eating we can substitute more appropriate techniques to manage our emotional problems and take food and weight gain out of the equation.
Experts say that for a significant number of people – potentially 1.3 million in Britain alone – a treat can easily turn in to binge eating and in turn lead to leaves of obesity.
The symptoms noted above are so common that this behaviour has since been officially classified as a new type of eating disorder: binge eating disorder.
If left untreated this level of over eating can also cause an increased risk of health concerns for example diabetes, food addiction and as previously mentioned obesity.
It is interesting to note that the quantity of food that is consumed is the primary difference between emotional eating and binge eating.
Overcoming emotional eating involves others and the individual recognising the problem from the off set and then experts looking to teach the individual healthier ways to view food and develop better eating habits, recognising the individuals triggers for engaging in this behaviour, and develop other more appropriate ways to prevent and alleviate stress and anxiety.
Fixing this problem for an individual primarily starts with recognising the problem and then looking to reduce stress, and using food as sustenance rather than as a way to solve problems, also using constructive ways to handle emotions can help to prevent emotional eating.
If you’re an emotional eater, recognition is an important first step that will help you on your road to eating better, controlling your weight and improved overall well-being.