There can be many different connections between food and our feelings. These can stem from childhood experiences, stress, and feelings of depression and loneliness. Emotional hunger usually feels sudden and urgent and can cause very specific cravings; such as simple carbs like pizza, cookies, cake, etc. When you are emotional hungry rather than physically hungry, you are more likely to eat beyond physical fullness. This (usually) can result in feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment afterwards, or just gaining weight. Ask yourself these questions: Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed? Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full after a big meal, like dessert? Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)? Do you eat until you are uncomfortable? Do you feel powerless around food?
If you replied yes to any or all of these questions, there is a solution.
1. Always remember to check in with yourself. Take 15 seconds before you reach for that cookie or piece of cake and ask yourself “why am I craving that?” “do I have control over this decision?” Pay attention to what you’re doing.
2. Understand the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Ask yourself “Am I eating in response to physical hunger (rumbling stomach, low energy,) or am I feeling nervous, frustrated, or happy?”
3. Practice mindful eating; being in the moment and enjoying your food as you’re eating it.
4. If you are still having trouble with your unhealthy eating habits, book an appointment with us so we can help!