door thijs

Have you ever found yourself eating when you are sad, excited, upset or at moments when you are not really hungry? Then you might be an emotional eater. While it is perfectly fine to treat yourself with some of your favorite delicious foods on certain occasions, emotional eating can cause some serious problems. It could lead to develop and unhealthy relation with food and this result in overweight issues among others. This is why, if you feel like you eat even when you are not hungry is important to analyze if you are an emotional eater or not so you can tackle the problem.

Here are some signs that you might be an emotional eater:

1)You get hungry out of the sudden

Feeling physically hungry is not something that happens out of the sudden. You don’t go from feeling perfectly fine to extremely hungry. Instead you may notice that your stomach starts to make noises and feel empty and you can have trouble concentrating. On the contrary, feeling emotionally hungry can happen from one minute to another and it can make you feel ravenous. It is important to know and recognize the difference between the 2 so you can avoid unnecessary snacking. Just know that your body is really good at its job so trust it when it lets you know it’s really time to eat.

2)You eat when you feel stressed

Eating when we are stressed is becoming more and more common given the busy lives we live. High levels of stress can increase our levels of cortisol, which is the hormone that often leads us to craving foods high in salt, sugar or fat.  As we all know by now, these foods usually offer little to no nutritional benefits. They might make us feel “better” in the short-term, but they can also make you feel worse afterwards ?. Another issue is that eating won’t really help you relieve stress. Instead try to get yourself moving either by going for a short walk or a good session of exercise. This will help you clear your head and get rid of the nervous feeling.

3)You eat comfort food after a stressful day

When we are little kids, our parents often give us food as a reward or to distract us when something bad happens. Unfortunately, we sometimes continue with this habits when we are adults. Food is often seen and used as a way to take our minds off, or help us cope with a stressful challenge. Relying on food to help us de-stress from a hectic day, or cope with a challenge won’t really help. Instead try doing things that don’t revolve around food like going to the gym, reading a book, watching a good movie or calling with a friend.

4)Your cravings are very specific

There are some days in which the only thing you can think about is eating something fatty that will satisfy your cravings. Like a big fat slice of cheesy pizza! If you are craving a particular  food, there is a good chance that you are craving it because of how it makes you feel. The desire for that rush can be seen as a good indicator that there is something bigger in the picture going on than just hunger.

5)You eat when you are bored or when you are with your friends

Eating when we feel bored is more common that we think. A lot of people tend to eat when they are watching TV or simply when don’t have anything to do and the food is easy to reach. Another moment in which people tend to to eat even when they are not hungry is when they are with friends. If you find it hard to keep your cravings under control in any of the above situations, then beware you might be an emotional eater!

If you find yourself eating under any of this circumstances it is best to take a moment to think why are you really eating. Are you nervous? Are you upset? Are you bored? Or are you really hungry? Just taking a moment to think why you feel like eating can make the difference and prevent you from becoming an emotional eater or if you already are it can help you control it.