Fight that Emotional Eating!
Anxiety causes so many different things with your mind, body, mood, emotions and everything in between. After I have a massive panic attack my body responds in two main ways. I either get insanely tired because the stress of the anxiety has just worn me out or I just want to eat everything in sight!
I am still learning to deal with how to determine if I’m hungry or if I’m emotional eating. Physical hunger is gradual and eating fulfills the need for nourishment. When you eat after having been physically hungry, you will most likely feel better or more energized. When the hunger is emotional hunger, eating may not give you the feeling of being filled, which can lead to overeating. At the end of the meal, you might feel tired, or depressed. This happens to me all the time and I always feel terrible after I finish eating.
Not only does it affect your emotions, there are several health risks associated with emotional eating. It is one of the leading causes of failed diets and weight gain. Weight gain puts a heavy strain on organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver, which can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Because of this type of eating, my weight has fluctuated my whole life. Shoot, right now I am close to my heaviest I’ve been. So, I’m really working to fight this by learning my hunger triggers, eating better and working out.
Here are some methods I am trying to use to determine if I’m hungry, just craving something, or emotional eating:
1. The food test. Ask yourself if you want to eat this food, or if there is something else you can eat instead.
2. Habit replacement. Find something positive to do when you feel stressed out, anxious or depressed.
4. And deep breathing
Most of these can be done anywhere. For instance, when I am at work that’s when I am most likely going to over-eat because of stress or anxiety. When I start to have those cravings, I get up and walk down the stairs and then back up (I’m on the 5th floor). Doing this wears me out and makes me forget about those cravings. If I don’t have time to do that, the deep breathing really helps me out too.
Along with using the methods I mentioned above, there are a couple more things you can do to fight those food temptations.
1. Keep junk food out of your house! We try and keep pretty healthy food for the most part, but my husband and I will go through phases where we have to have something sweet every night. We are currently in one of those phases and it’s so hard to stop!
2. Take a healthy snack with you when you leave the house. If you know you are going to be out and about for a few hours, grab a ready to eat fruit or a bag of nuts that you can snack on so you aren’t tempted to stop and get fast food.
3. Make your lunch for work as often as you can. I try and take a lunch 3 out of the 5 days I go to work. This way I know exactly what is in the food and know that it is something healthy.
So, when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, emotional and just want to scarf down everything in sight try implementing some of these techniques!