Our relationship with food has witnessed a dynamic journey, from providing sustenance, it has now begun to act as a source of comfort for our stressed and anxious minds. Apart from satisfying their physical hunger, people also eat in order to find comfort. It’s a way to deal with emotions for emotional eaters. Finishing a bucket of ice cream when sad, overeating a pizza to celebrate success are all examples of emotional eating.
Out of money, a burger to ease the tension; fight with a friend, the ice-cream tub screams solace; business dinner, alcohol to reduce the friction. Briefly put, emotional eating is addictive in nature and this anxiety-induced hunger takes a heavy toll on the quality of our life.
WHAT MAKES US PRONE TO EMOTIONAL OVEREATING?
When stressed, our nervous system is flooded with the hormone Cortisol that makes our brain to cry out for sugar and oil-rich foods. While the consumption of foods like sweets and fries trigger the release of the feel-good hormone – dopamine in our bodies. This serves as a temporary fix and makes the worry a distant reality. Emotional eaters tend to give in to this temptation and eat their “comfort food”, even if they’re full or not hungry.
SIMPLE WAYS TO CONTROL EMOTIONAL EATING
Here are a few simple methods to take control of what you eat:
1 . Eat In Optimum Quantity
Eating should only be for satisfying hunger and to supply the body with its quota of essential nutrients. Each time try not to gorge on a buttery parantha to temporarily take your mind off some niggling trouble.
2. Have Small Frequent Meals
Do not stay hungry, it will only push you to eat more the next time you eat. Experts say that feeding yourself as many as six times each day can help you lose weight besides taking care of binge eating.
3. Take Time To Eat
Even if for a single meal, lay out the table and put the food out on plates. Sit down and indulge but without the TV or the laptop. Even better, if you have a companion to talk to. Some casual conversation generally eases the mind and deters you from over-eating.
4. Plan Your Meals
Document what you are going to eat tomorrow and place it somewhere where you can see it often. Make sure you stick to this. Difficult to start with but sooner or later your conscience will kick in and prevent you from giving in to the emotional eater within you.
5 . Explore Healthy Options
Food these days is an art. Read more about different cuisines, take cooking classes, do some research about the nutritional values of different eats and try cooking at home. This shall help you keep away from binging on to junk too often.
6. Fight Stress
Many of us deal with stress and anxiety by eating, which eventually hosts several problems such as heart disease, obesity, insomnia, etc. So relax, take a day off, go on a short holiday, get a massage, and pamper yourself to ease stress so that you don’t turn to food unnecessarily. Talk to an expert in case your stress levels are bothering you.
So, go ahead and follow these simple ways to avoid emotional eating. These steps will also prevent you from becoming an emotional eater. Once you are free of this habit, expect the waistline to shrink, pimples to disappear, energy levels to rise, and improved performance at the office and at home. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!