Overeating. It happens for countless reasons. Maybe it’s mindless eating while you’re watching TV. You look down and realize you’ve just eaten the whole bag of popcorn. Perhaps you overeat when you’re bored or when you’re hanging out with friends.
But for many, overeating is a way to feed emotions. Stress, sadness, loneliness, guilt, and even good emotions like happiness can lead to overeating. Emotional eating is dangerous, because emotions are a part of everyday life. Overeating on a regular basis can quickly lead to obesity and a long list of health problems.
What’s the connection between emotions and food, and how can you overcome emotional eating? Keep reading to find out what the boot camp in Frisco has to say.
It’s In Your Mind
Certain foods, particularly sweets, stimulate your brain to produce serotonin, a hormone that gives you a pleasurable feeling and reduces your stress hormone cortisol. This feel good response makes you crave more of that type of food. After time, small amounts of that yummy food won’t offer the same benefits, so you eat more of it.
Others see food as a reward. Maybe as a child you were given special foods as a reward for good behavior or high grades. Your brain learned to associate food with good feelings. Now, after a good day, you may reward yourself with a carton of ice cream. Or after a tough day you may crave those good feelings and turn to a bag of chips for comfort. If this sounds like you, overeating has turned into a way to cope with emotions. Hence why many can connect their weight gain with a stressful life situation such as a divorce or the loss of a job.
Some turn to food to fill a void in life. Lonely or depressed? Food may become your best friend. Instead of spending time with friends or family, you head to the kitchen.
Break the Cycle
Weight loss for the emotional eater will not come from another diet. You can diet all you want, but you won’t keep the weight off for good. You’ve got to change your relationship with food if you’re going to shed pounds and keep them off.
The first step is to determine which emotions trigger your overeating habits. A great way to do this is by keeping a food diary. Each time you eat, write down the time, location, type of food, and the feelings or thoughts in your head at the moment. After a few weeks or even days, you may be able to pinpoint what situations or emotions lead to binge eating. Read More…