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Experts Reveal What Triggers Emotional Eating And How To Control It

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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/emotional-eating-triggers_l_5c61c803e4b028d543169e60

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Experts Reveal What Triggers Emotional Eating And How To Control It
For Ernest Hemingway, it was oysters. For Nora Ephron, it was mashed potatoes. For countless recently dumped film and television characters, it's ice cream. Humans have been eating our emotions for as long as we can remember. But that doesn't make it a good idea.

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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.

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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 ...

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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 t...

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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 h...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Why food

Negative emotions may lead to a feeling of emptiness or an emotional void. 

Food is believed to be a way to fill that void and create a false feeling of “

Emotional vs. true hunger

Physical hunger

  • It develops slowly over time.
  • You desire a variety of food groups.
  • You feel the sensation of fullness and take it as a cue to stop eating.
  • You have no negative feelings about eating.

Emotional hunger

  • It comes about suddenly or abruptly.
  • You crave only certain foods.
  • You may binge on food and not feel a sensation of fullness.
  • You feel guilt or shame about eating.

Emotional hunger isn’t easily quelled

While filling up could work in the moment, eating because of negative emotions often leaves people feeling more upset than before.

This cycle typically doesn’t end until a person addresses emotional needs head-on.

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Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, from binge eating to calorie counting, or feeling guilty of eating 'bad' foods can wreak havoc on our health and happiness.

The core issue lies within our emotions, and ...

Eating to Relieve Emotional Discomfort

Eating can be an emotional activity, with deep connections on how our brains and bodies work. Emotional overeaters are:

  • Having a feeling of resentment after neglecting one's own needs to appease others.
  • Feeling undeserving of their success, with a fear of being shamed.
  • Being a perfectionist and being constantly anxious about the possible mistakes.
  • Suppressing of all negative emotions.

Overeaters tend to have an 'all-or-nothing' approach oscillating between an all-good diet or an outright unhealthy one, depending on the particular underlying emotion.

Being in Control

To be in control does not mean restraining. A person who is in control should have the capacity and freedom to self-govern.

Rather than fighting with your body, provide it with an autonomous control by allowing all kinds of foods back in your life, yet eating consciously, paying attention to your meals, savoring them fully. Being mindful can maximize your pleasure and minimize your eating.

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Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are found in fiber and starch and are beneficial for brain health as they release glucose slowly into our system, helping stabilize our mood. Simple carbohydr...

Antioxidants

Our cells generate energy through oxidation, but oxidation also reduces the dopamine and serotonin in the brain and creates oxidative stress.

Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables act as a defense against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. Antioxidants also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain. 

Omega 3

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the health of the brain and the communication of its feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body, so we must include foods high on it in our diet. 

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