Do you find yourself eating junk even when you are not hungry? Do you find yourself eating a chocolate just because you want to change your mood? Do you find that you are eating abnormally even though you are aware of its consequences? If the answers are mostly yes, then read on – you could be an Emotional Eater.
An Emotional Eater is a person who finds solace in binging on food; a person who uses food as a medium to relieve stress rather than to satisfy hunger.
In today’s competitive world, everyone is leading a tough life. Everyone has to deal with several challenges in life – work, family, relationships, health, wealth etc. These challenges and the fight for survival leads to a lot of depression, anxiety, stress, sadness which in turn affects a person’s physical health. It is in these situations people try to find comfort by eating junk food that are deprived of all nutrients. They knowingly and unknowingly are so stressed that it causes a big hindrance to ones effort to lose weight and a healthy life.
What exactly happens when you are attacked with stressed? The body tries to fight back. Our body has an amazing defense system, thus to fight the stress, the body begins to secret a hormone at elevated levels known as “cortisol”. This hormone is also referred as the “stress hormone” because it is secreted in higher levels by the body during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress. During situations such as “chronic stress”, the cortisol levels remain elevated for long periods of time. At this time, the body perceives a need for extra calories thus resulting in over-eating.
Now that you have eaten more than required, what happens to the excess glucose that is being circulated in the bloodstream? The body cells and muscles that do not need the glucose just reject taking it in thus causing an increase in insulin production. Over a period of time, due to the elevated cortisol, glucose and insulin levels the cells de-sensitizes to insulin, causing insulin resistance, thus making way for pre-diabetes or diabetic conditions.
So have you ever thought that a little bit of food that you reach out to in order to comfort your self during stressed conditions could be so harmful? Then how do you avoid stress and emotional eating? There should be a way you need to find to break free all the stress and lead a healthy life.
Below mentioned are few quick tips that could be helpful to get rid of emotional eating during stress.
1. Get total control on your food
It is very important that you are aware of your eating patterns. It is important to figure out if you are eating because you are hungry or are you eating because you emotionally want to eat? It is best to pause and confront yourself before reaching out for a mithai or a pizza, and ask yourself, “Why am I eating this?” This will in great way help you control your tendency to binge on foods.
2. Find and work towards what is causing the stress
Once you determine that you emotionally eat, it’s good to sit down and figure out what is it that is actually causing you to do it. Write down all the things that make you
stressed – like a deadline you could not meet, or a conflict with your loved ones. Now look for a way to overcome that particular stress rather than reaching out for food. Sometimes the solutions could be as easy as a phone call or requesting an extension of a deadline. You will find it easy to move out of the habit of emotional eating once you start recognizing the root cause of your stress and working towards the solutions.
3. Indulge in something that makes you happy
It is very important to find out something else that makes you feel good and relieved from all stress than eating. It could be a good workout, painting session, a pottery class, swimming, Jacuzzi, steam bath, spa or massage session, boxing game or maybe just cricket – there are a million ways to keep your self-occupied and also form healthy habits. This will not only make you feel happy and stress relived but also will help you overcome the saga of emotional eating.
4. Stick to clean eating and avoid alcohol
It is often heard that people reach out to alcohol as a medium to deal with stress. But logically speaking, neither is alcohol a solution to your stress nor is it good for your body. The damage caused to the liver due to this will have even worse consequence. However, you could help yourself with some good chamomile tea or any aromatic tea as they are known for their stress healing properties.