I am an emotional eater. I want to say I WAS one, but I have to admit that I still feel the urge to eat every now and then when I am stressed. It doesn’t help that most everyone around me responds to a surge of emotions in the same way. It does not have to be that way, though. Let’s look at some truths behind emotional eating that just might help us get rid of the habit for real.
Emotional eating makes food a “crutch” and it takes the real pleasure away from eating. I love to eat. I love good food. When I eat because I am depressed, though, that authentic pleasure gets overwhelmed by other sensations. You have to admit it, you’re not really enjoying the food per se, but you’re just using it as an excuse to make yourself feel better.
Emotional eating can make you feel worse after. Think about the times that you overindulged on ice cream, chocolate, pizza, or whatever it is that you consider your comfort food. The chances are that after a period of emotional eating, you probably felt guilty or “bad.” That’s because the driving force behind the eating spree is still eating you up. The problem has not been solved. Then the cycle begins again.
Food associated with emotional eating cause temporary highs and then bad crashes. There is no denying this – after eating 3 chocolate bars and 2 cupcakes, you’ll feel the sugar rush. After an hour or so, you’ll feel down again. That’s because the sugar and carbs will not sustain you for long.
Bottom line? Identify the source of the emotions and deal with it.