Emotional Eating is when a person uses food to make themselves feel better rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Movies, T.V Shows, and family have trained us to reach for a pint of ice cream when we’re feeling down, order a pizza if we’re bored or lonely, or swing by the drive-through after a stressful day at work. However, emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there long after the pint of ice-cream is finished, the last cookie devoured, and the pizza box emptied. And yet, you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary gut-damaging, hormone-disrupting chemicals and additives you’ve just consumed.
Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food.
— Aimee Tariq
Check these three things before an emotional binge
1. Question your hunger:
When you think you feel hungry, pause and ask yourself: am I really hungry or am I feeling something else? You may find that what you’re really craving isn’t a cookie or a bag of chips, but a heart-to-heart talk with a friend, a nap, or a new experience.
2. If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
3. If you’re bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy (woodworking, playing the guitar, shooting hoops, scrapbooking, etc.)
However, when the alternatives don’t work and you try to drown your sorrows in a pint of Chunky Monkey, a plate of McDonald french fries, or a box of cookies, I have one word of advice for you: Don’t. Contrary to what pretty much every rom-com ever made would have you believe: It just. Doesn’t. Help. In fact, most “comfort foods” leave you feeling worse. However- there are healthier alternatives that won’t produce further harm, and that’ll actually help you heal. That’s right- you don’t have to say no to pizza, chips, fries, and ice-cream. Just say yes to the right kind instead.
Do you make bad food choices when you’re hungry or tired? Let me know in the comments below!