Experts Reveal What Triggers Emotional Eating And How To Control It - Deepstash
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Eating Distract from Emotions

Eating Distract from Emotions

We often associate eating with relief or even excitement, and it’s only natural that we’d reach for those same feelings when we’re worried or sad.

Events don’t have a meaning; we give them a meaning. The meaning of eating is, ‘I’m going to be happy. I’m not going to be in emotional discomfort. I’ll have this wonderful experience.

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Why we choose comfort food

Comfort foods don’t tend to be healthy. We want cake or pasta or chips when we’re emotionally eating. We have emotional memories around certain foods, which are more likely to involve your grandma’s lasagna than a salad. 

But after we eat for emotional reasons, we’re replacing our original feelings with the emotions that arise out of eating.

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Comfort food

We associate comfort food with positive memories.

Think about all the happy and comforting memories you have involving food. Maybe your family used to celebrate occasions with a trip to the ice cream shop, or maybe your mom or dad used to soften the blow of a bad day with macaroni and cheese. When you’re feeling rejected or anxious today, eating one of those foods is an instant connection to that soothing time.

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Control emotional eating

  • Remember food’s true purpose ― to nourish you. 
  • Seek comfort through friends, doing kind things for yourself and engaging in healthy activities that reduce internal distress.
  • As soon as you start looking for food, stop. Think, ‘Am I hungry? Do I need food in my stomach, or is one of my triggers going off? What do I need right now?
  • Jot down what you’re eating when and taping that note to the fridge, in order to recognize a pattern in what you eat, when you eat it and why. 

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"The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness." - Schopenhauer

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