Emotional overeating is one of the leading causes of failed diets and weight gain. This can lead to feelings of failure, hopelessness, and a general depression. Unhealthy eating habits often lead to negative physical effects as well, so this article will discuss some of the behaviors that might be signs of emotional overeating.
Food Cravings Appear Out of Nowhere
Physical hunger is most often experienced as gradually intensifying waves signifying that the body requires a form of sustenance. Sometimes it is possible that there is a deficiency of one or more nutrients, but one of the most telling signs of emotional overeating is the sudden, and urgent appearance of food cravings. During these urgent cravings, you are less likely to make healthy food choices, such as fast food, processed snack foods, prepackaged, or otherwise artificial food sources rather than eating healthier traditionally prepared meals.
Your Emotions Drive Your Eating Habits
Mood can affect the speed, and way we eat. Do you sometimes notice that a negative situation can send you running to your car to get a comfort food? In times of intense emotional upheaval, it can easily become a habit to turn to food for emotional management. That cookie or ice cream might feel good during consumption, but it isn’t truly fixing the heart of the issue.
Many people are conditioned from a young age to associate food with some sort of reward or good times. That is part of the reason for certain restaurants to have places for children to play.
You Eat While Stressed
Another big sign that that could show that you are emotionally overeating is that you are eating while stressed. Any changes in life large or small can cause a measure of stress. Deteriorating financial health is considered to be a leading cause of stress in many countries around the world, so it is possible that financial stress could lead to comfort food seeking activity.
Relationships are also a major source of stress due to the tendency for relationships to experience inevitable changes in dynamics. This could be anything from romantic relationships to work relationships. People tend to expect routine, so when relationship changes occur, one or both people can be thrown into a state of uncertainty.
You Keep Eating Past Being Full
One of the most serious of the signs of emotional overeating, is eating past being full. This is when the need to fill the emotional void exceeds the body’s natural feeling of fullness. It can manifest itself in joyless eating, which is eating on autopilot. During this period you might consume empty calories so quickly that you don’t even taste the food. You may also find yourself forcing the second half of a meal you could have saved for later, or buying additional snack foods that you will be tempted to eat prematurely. Part of the serious nature of this habit, is that it is a primary mechanism that makes weight gain and other health issues a possibility.