The Effects of Emotional Eating and How to Stop it

woman in black long-sleeved top facing sideways

Emotional eating is a very common occurrence, and can often lead to weight gain. This article will explore the effects of emotional eating and how it can be stopped.

What causes someone to eat because of their emotions?

It’s tough to know why you keep picking up that ice cream. Maybe it’s work stress or financial worries, health issues or relationship struggles – anything from your life could be the root cause of emotional eating. But according to different studies, women are more affected than men with this issue.

Negative emotions can lead to a feeling of emptiness or an emotional void. Food is believed by some people to be a way that we can fill this void and create the false sense of fullness or temporary wholeness after binge eating food, which may also result in weight gain leading others on further into negative cycles when they feel bad about themselves because they know what it does for their body image.

Other factors include: retreating from social support during times when someone’s struggling with difficult feelings, not engaging in activities like exercise that might otherwise help relieve stress and sadness, not understanding the difference between physical hunger (the need for nutrients) vs emotional hunger (a craving).

How to stop emotional eating?

There are a number of ways to stop emotional eating. The first is acknowledging the feelings that may be driving us to eat and becoming mindful about what we’re feeling at any moment in time. Second, try distracting yourself from those thoughts or emotions by doing something like going for a walk outside, meditating or listening to music with headphones; these things will help you to clear your mind and move away from the negative feelings.

woman in red and black plaid long sleeve shirt eating pizza

Third, learn how to slow down when eating – take smaller bites, put your fork or spoon down between each bite of food as if you were taking a break during an activity like running; this will allow us to eat without feeling so rushed or compelled by our thoughts, and will also help us to eat less.

Fourth, try eating healthy snacks in between meals – it’s more difficult for someone who is snacking on vegetables or fruit that has some protein like dried mangoes, yogurt instead of ice cream; these kinds of snacks are filling and can reduce the amount we feel compelled to overeat when emotional eating.

Bottom Line

Let’s face it, sometimes food is just necessary for survival. You are hungry and need to eat something because your body needs fuel to function properly. However, if you feel like binge eating or overeating on junk foods often then this may say more about how stressed out you might be feeling emotionally than what your stomach truly desires.

The solution? Try taking the time in-between meals (or snacks) when emotions come knocking at the door of our mind by engaging in a little self-care with exercises that calm us down – such as yoga or meditation – and find less destructive ways to deal with stressors; we can’t always change stressful events but there are many healthy coping skills available for those moments where things don’t go according to plan.

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