Emotional eating is the habit of a person to consume large quantities of food – usually sweets or fast food – in response to certain feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of cases are caused by eating excessive because emotional problems.Everyone knows that by eating installs a degree of comfort, at least in the short term. As a result, people often resort to food to heal emotional problems. Such practices turn into habits that prevent the adoption of effective measures to solve emotional problems.
Causes of emotional eating
The depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships and low self esteem can cause overeating and unwanted weight increase.
The first step in treating emotional eating is to identify triggers. Only then is it possible to call the appropriate techniques to manage emotional problems and avoid weight gain.
Situations and emotions that cause emotional eating can fit into five main categories, depending on their underlying cause.
Social causes. Some people consume large amounts of food when they are around other people. For example, overeating can be a result of the encouragement of others or the desire not to be left out of the group.
Causes emotional. Excessive consumption of food takes place in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness.
– Situational causes. Eating large amounts of food because the opportunity is there. For example, in view of ads for a product that is served at a restaurant that has a very low price. Situational overeating is associated with certain activities, such as watching television, going to the movies, etc..
Psychological causes. Overeating could be a consequence negative self-evaluation or as an excuse to eat.
Physiological causes. Eating excessive response may be physical index. For example, because of increased sensation of hunger because Skipping meals or eating to treat headaches and other pains.
Easier to identify what causes emotional eating, keeping a diet journal where you write down what and when you eat particular situations, thoughts or emotions that you are experiencing at the moment.
How to stop emotional eating and lose weight
Identifying triggers of emotional eating is not enough for effective management of the problem. Often, emotional eating becomes a habit and will need prompt and professional intervention to change this habit.
Finding alternatives is the second step in treating the problem. When you feel you want to eat because of emotions, try one of the following activities:
- Read or listen to music
- Go for a walk
- Take a hot bath
- Breathe deeply
- Tell a friend
- Play a game
- Write a letter
- Make any necessary enjoyable activity or until the desire to eat pass.
To cope more effectively with stress and emotional eating, try
- Relaxation techniques
- Individual or group counseling.