Why do we eat? It seems like a simple question right? Typically we would respond that we eat to fill us up, to provide our bodies with energy.
What about when we eat? We eat when we are hungry right? In truth, not always.
There are actually several reasons why we eat. One of those is to help fulfill an emotional need. Sometimes, we don't even realize we are doing that. So what exactly is emotional eating?
For example, have you ever found yourself staring into the refrigerator, trying to find something to snack on? Even if you are not hungry? The reason you do this could be linked to emotional eating.
We all have a tendency to emotional eat at different times. So how can we recognize when we are doing this and what can we do about it?
The first step is recognizing when and why we emotionally eat.
Does stress cause it? If so what brings on the stress? Maybe your boss drives you crazy and you find yourself grabbing something every afternoon to help cope with it.
Maybe you find that every day at two pm you are visiting the vending machine, or grabbing a candy bar from your desk.
Emotional eating is a habit that we develop sometime from childhood. Because of this, we often don't think about these habits, or even recognize that they are there.
So in order to begin to make a change, you've got to begin to recognize when and why you are eating.
When you grab a snack ask yourself, "Why am I craving this?".
Second, ask yourself if this is a habit, "Do I eat this on a regular basis?"
"Is it always at this time, or after the previous event happens?
The last thing to ask yourself is "Am I hungry?"
Often we eat snacks when we are not even hungry, this also is a sure fire way to know that you are eating emotionally.
Emotional eating has very specific cravings and is never due to being hungry.
So if you find that you are eating and recognize that you are sad, angry, bored, or stressed while doing so, try doing something else that you enjoy doing, going for a walk, reading a book, listening to a podcast, something to take your mind off your current emotions to bring you up and out of that feeling that you have to eat.
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