Have you ever made room for dessert even though you’re already full? Out of nowhere in the middle of doing something important, you start feeling hungry? Do you feel hungry before any important meeting? If yes, then you should check your emotional status.
Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food, usually ‘comfort’ or junk foods in response to feelings instead of hunger. Emotional eating is a maladaptive coping strategy used by many of us to deal with negative emotions.
Emotional eating can be caused by many reasons like stress, tension, depression, boredom, and sometimes due to excitement.
Today, let’s focus on stress as 69% of people are suffering from stress related disorders in India. Under High stress, your biological age can be 30 times higher than your calendar age.Modern life is full of frustrations, deadlines, and demands. For many people, stress has become a way of life. When stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, mood, relationships and quality of life.
Stress also affectsour food preferences. Emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat and sugar, and you sleep excessively under stress. Also, some people consume alcohol and all this leads to gaining weight around your abdomen and unfortunately, abdominal obesity puts you at specific risk for diabetes and heart attack.
In stress, adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol, which makes you crave for carbohydrates, sugar and fatty foods. Food is soothing due to the chemical changes it creates in your body. Chocolate is an excellent example.
When junk food is calling your name, it’s possible to put boundaries on your emotional eating habits. Ready to break free from stress eating?
The solution to emotional eating is less about eating than it is about emotions.
- When you’re tempted to snack for emotional reasons, try moving instead. Just walk for 10 minutes.
- Try a quick breathing exercise. Slowing down your breathing can trick your body into thinking you are going to sleep, which in turn relaxes your body. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out.
- Sip black tea. A study in the journal ofPsychopharmacology hasfound that subjects who consumed black tea experienced a 47% drop in their cortisol levels.
- Try self-massage. It can be as simple as sitting down, rub your feet, one at a time, over the top of the heel until they feel relaxed.
You’ll eat better and healthier foods if you don’t let your emotions guide your food choices.