Emotional Eating…

…and how else to deal with those emotions

Do you find yourself sometimes eating even when you are not hungry?

Well, that’s ok once in a while, but if it is a regular habit, then it is called emotional eating. That means we feel emotions
that we cannot handle at the moment and so we compensate with food. Eating food makes us swallow, so we swallow what we feel, we do not let it come up to the surface. Because if we did, we would have to deal with it in a different way, a way that could hurt much more. We would have to face the root of a problem, but we are not ready, probably as we have no solution at that
point. So we try to “control” what we feel with food.

There are different ways to deal with it; some people might numb themselves through starving, some through purging, like “vomiting” to get rid of the feeling, or the variation of binging, just pushing and swallowing it down. All these ways of dealing with emotions are displacing them on the body. From my own experience, I can tell you that in my twenties I hated my “fat belly”! My belly was never really fat, but if I was very angry and in a rage, it was my belly’s fault, so I started fighting against myself and hating myself even more. And I grew up where emotions were not allowed to be shown, so there was no other way of compensating than through eating, which was the easiest way to handle it. Only through my nutrition studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition did I understand my behavior and the behavior of my family. We have certain patterns and food is a very important matter. There is always plenty of food and I see now how it is used as more than just getting the right nutrients into your body.

If we do not learn to deal with our emotions, we will certainly have an unhealthy relationship with food. So if you are interested in learning more about your own relationship with food, start noticing next time when you want to eat:

Are you really hungry (on a level 0-10, which hunger level do you feel?)

Which emotion is the strongest in your body now?

Drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes… are you still hungry? (sometimes we are just thirsty)

Do you need something crunchy (it mostly helps to calm anger/rage down)

Do you crave something sweet (it’s showing the need for love or a hug)

Writing a food-mood journal is a great way to become aware of the connection between your eating behaviour and emotions.
Of course, we have days where we feel anger, rage, shame or other negative emotions due to our daily life, but the goal is to learn how to handle them. And especially the negative emotions that
we carry in us for years, which were created by a traumatic situation, can hurt us every day and lead to eating disorders. The only way to soothe them, to deal with them, is healing these parts in us that are hurt and that still carry this pain. It might need a bit of courage, but the healing is possible and worth doing for a happier life.

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If you need help and support to eliminate your emotional eating habits and gain control of your life then get in touch for a FREE session.

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