Control emotional eating - Deepstash

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Experts Reveal What Triggers Emotional Eating And How To Control It

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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Acknowledge your weight gain fears 

Besides the health and economic crises we are facing, there are individuals who, due to the media, are also fighting their own fears to gain weight during the quarantine. 

One of the most useful thoughts that could help a person cope with this fear is that health is not only connected to weight, but also to other elements, such as race, stress, genetics and so on. Therefore, there is no need to stress so much, just make sure to control the amount of food you eat, as usual.

Control your eating habits, quarantine or not

Everybody seems worried that, during the ongoing pandemic, they will gain weight. 

However, a recent review has shown that individuals tend to gain the weight back after a diet in less than five years, even during regular times. Therefore, quarantine or not, you should pay attention to your eating habits, if you want to have a certain weight.

Emotional eating

While quarantined at home, we all have the tendency to eat foods that trigger that feeling of safety and happiness, that only by consuming these vary foods we can experience. 

As nice as this idea might sound, you should also try sleeping or spending virtual time with your friends, as these can work wonders as well.

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 carbohydrates are found in sugary foods, cause fluctuations of feelings of happiness and produce a negative effect on our psychological well-being.

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. 

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 “fullness” or temporary wholeness.

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.