Are you a moody foodie?
Emotional eating is related to unreasonable and excessive consumption of energy dense foods (“comfort” or junk foods) in the absence of hunger. ‘Hunger’ is defined as the physiological (bodily) need to initiate food consumption while ‘appetite’ is the psychological urge to consume a specific type of food. Experts estimate that emotions are responsible for upto 75% of overeating!
At some point in time, probably all of us have been victims of “Emotional Eating”. There are days when we are extremely happy and high spirited so we look positively at our diet and exercise regimen. We are motivated to look better, to feel good and stay healthy. On the other hand, there are days when we miss the train, reach late for the lecture/ meeting, are unable to meet deadlines, pick a fight with our friends/colleagues and feel low and frustrated. On such days, we feel like binging on chocolate, french fries, cheesy pizza, triple sundae, etc to lift our moods. Even before we realize, we have already overeaten and are engulfed by overwhelming feeling of guilt and anger.
Let us see how we can escape such situations or taper down the harmful effects of the emotionally charged state.
How to recognize cues for emotional eating?
Prevention is always better than cure. Likewise, it is important to stop before indulging in food and reflect- Am I really hungry now? When did I eat my last meal? What did I eat in my last meal? Have I eaten the right kind of foods through the day?
Anger, boredom, fatigue, depression, or loneliness may often be the underlying cause for the urge to pull out the large pack of chips or tub of ice-cream. Also people tend to eat more while watching TV, in theatres, etc. When craving is for a specific food, it is a sure shot sign that the hunger is not physiological, it’s emotional! Sudden urge to eat after seeing an advertisement or poster is also driven by emotions.
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