Emotional eating is definitely a thing. I do it, and you probably do it too. Dealing with the world is a lot, and dealing with the stress of it all can be so overwhelming that it’s easy to rely on a quick pick-me-up meal to deal.
So let’s break it down. Relying on food for support is an easy fix to any challenging situation, but is it the best or the healthiest? Definitely not. Psychologist Marc David says emotional eating means that “I’m doing unwanted eating that’s driven by unwanted feelings.” However, these unwanted feelings just seem to taste so damn good.
Treating yourself every so often after a hard day is OK, but stress eating 24/7 is very unhealthy and will impact your mood. Knowing your triggers is a great way to keep tabs on your eating habits and monitor if you’ve spiraled out of control or not. I find myself asking the question, “Are you really hungry?” and if the answer is “No,” then I know that I’m just stressed out or bored.
If you feel that your emotional eating has gotten out of control, there are ways to reel it back in to take back control. I like to use exercise as a coping mechanism or spending time with friends and family to just vent.
Again, it all comes back to harmony and moderation. I enjoy treating myself to delicious food. I also enjoy eating cake and sweets to cope with my emotions. But if I did this all the time for every meal, then I would be so unhealthy that I wouldn’t be able to get through life. Practicing mindful eating and being aware is the best solution to weight management, confidence, and peace of mind.
Finally, in addition to eating mindfully, make sure that you are getting enough sleep and staying hydrated to avoid those out-of-control cravings. You don’t have to stop treating yourself, just don’t go overboard.