Sometimes we eat when something is emotionally “eating us”. Many of us resort to high calorie comfort foods to soothe a mood. Can you remember when you were a child, if you had a bad day your mom would make you your favorite snack? As adults we still use this tactic but have negative consequences: You have masked the problem with food instead of dealing with what is really bothering us. This sets us up for a vicious cycle of stuffing feelings with food and gaining weight instead of dealing with your issues. This emotional state, in particular, often leads us to binges of emotional eating: sadness, anxiety, and anger.
Attempting to lower anxiety by eating is a form of self-medicating. Research has shown, that eating foods high in carbs actually boosts serotonin levels, a chemical that helps you feel calm. This is why our “Comfort Foods” are usually bursting in carbohydrates.
- Individuals that indulge in napping and/or going to bed early are less susceptible to stress and anxiety. They are also better at resisting the urge to overeat.
- Try relaxing and calming activities, such as meditation or reading, instead of running to the refrigerator when you are feeling anxious.
When heartbreak hits sweet treats feel like the way to drown your sorrows. This is a negative and vicious cycle once it has been created and it is a hard habit to break. You eat because you are feeling sad and then you end up feeling even worse after you have indulged in that tub of ice cream. Just vicious!
- Exercise has proven over and over again that the best way to battle feeling down in the dumps is to get that body moving and get that heart pumping. Even 30 minutes of cardio boosts those “feel good” chemicals in the body.
- Talk about what is bothering you when you are feeling blue. Call someone you trust and get it off your chest.
- Crying it out does not mean you are having a pity party for yourself. Listen to sad music in the dark, take a hot bath with candles and think about what is bothering you. You will feel a whole lot better.
We eat as a coping mechanism, but this really does not get rid of our anger. It simply buries the problem deeper and deeper down inside. To make matters worse, over eating damages your body. Then you add guilt and shame on top of it. Just a bad combination.
- Take a long walk either on a treadmill or out in nature. The fresh air will always feel better. Just working out in general will help
- Find a place where you can scream your heart out. Let out all that aggression.
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