We’ve all seen the movies featuring a woman aggressively scoffing down a box of chocolates after a break up. But if you’ve always thought emotional eating was just a myth…
The reality is that for most people, it’s not. Some experts even say that 75% of the time overeating is caused by your emotions which include the times that you feel angry, stressed, sad, lonely or bored.
The annoying thing is that there’s a number of every day things that can trigger these emotions that cause you to overeat unhealthy and fatty foods.
- Work issues
- Financial pressures
- The aforementioned bad break-ups
- Even bad weather can make you feel down
But why do we turn to eating as an answer to our problems?
For one, food is a diversion that can be used for putting off the tasks that we don’t want to do, filling a void when we’re bored or distracting us from the negative thoughts we may have.
Two, strong emotions release hormones such as cortisol (the stress hormone) which create cravings for unhealthy, salty and sweet foods.
Three, some speculate that we over eat when we’re emotional because sometimes consumption is one of the only things we can control when everything else is going badly. Unfortunately, the problem that lies here is not always being able to stop when we want to.
And finally, we eat foods to comfort ourselves and this can often leave us caught in a vicious cycle. We may eat an excessive amount of food when we’re down, then feel guilty as a result and beat ourselves up about eating and breaking our weight loss process, only leading us to over eat again because we feel bad about it.
Do emotions play a part in your desire to over eat?