Emotional eating is a subject that is never really talked about on its own yet it affects most of us.
Firstly what we need to know is that emotional eating is a disorder and according to kidshealth.org it is defined as a intake of food in response to negative emotions and it is usually used as a tool or strategy to cope with negative feelings.
Anyone who has experienced emotional eating will tell you it is very hard to convince your self NOT to binge eat. And in most times the more you tell your self to not eat emotionally, the worse you binge. I know this, because I have been through this and as much as I am in the healing process, I have not yet arrived. However as hard as it can be the truth is there has to be a full stop to this disease. Now the important question is How Do I STOP?
I believe when a patient is sick, before she can get help from the doctors, the first thing that needs to be done is to find the problem. It is the same with emotional eating. In the beginning we defined it as a disease and it is an intake of food in response to negative emotions meaning emotional eating is used as a tool to cope with deep routed issues that affects us. Therefore we firstly need to identify with the the causes of emotional eating.
Emotional Eating is caused by
Stress A lot of people eat emotionally in response to stress, whether it is work related stress or relationship based. Instead of dealing with the stress in a right way people binge eat and it becomes a problem because emotional eating can cause a lot of health scares and issues and we usually take things lightly and passively and use food in a disordered manner.
feeling sad The name it self explains that this disease is emotional, therefore a lot of times people eat in response to how they feel and what they feel rather than eating in response to physical hunger and it becomes a problem because we will never stop experience feeling sad at times and food should not be our way of dealing with feeling sad.
The void inside of you that you want to desperately fill I believe this point is the heart of binge eating. every thing that causes eating emotionally starts from the void inside that we are using food to fill it up. as mentioned before binge eating is caused by a space you feel inside of you and using food to fill that void that continues to grow. from some people it is because of rejection from loved one’s, while others it might be a space to be loved or be accepted by the society.
Being Passive instead of dealing with your problems head on. Being passive is another reason for people binge eat. People who are usually affected are those who are afraid to have a voice in their work place, marriage, relationship,and just goes with crowd and later regrets and cope with the problems by eating emotionally. A lot of people fail to face their issues therefore they run away from their problems because of the fear. So they use food as a way of dealing with hurts them deep down.
Doing nothing(Being bored) There’s a popular saying that states, “you’re not Hungry you’re just Bored”, While others may eat emotionally because underlying and deep routed issues, others eat because there is just nothing productive that they are doing during the day. so because of lying around the whole day, you will find every excuse to eat everything that keeps you busy in your mouth.
Your past This is another point that leads to people having eating disorders, for someone they may have grown up to being sexual abuse in their families and growing up that issue has not been discussed or even talked about, so a lot of people succumb their feelings inside and find comfort in food.
NOW HOW DO I STOP?
This is a question that we all ask ourselves and still battles with it, and although I may not know all the answers and have not got everything figured out, the first thing one needs to do is acknowledge that He/She has a problem and
Talk to someone. Find someone you trust to talk about your problems, it might be your mentor, someone you look up to, someone respectable, someone who had an experience. and for those who afford you can go as far as going for counselling, and that is how you can learn to identify your issue and how food is connected. Talk it out, deal with your issue head on and out loud and not keep it with you, and that is where your problem can be identified and solved. Just find HELP. perhaps counselling can even refer you to trusted dieticians to help you with binge eating.
Find an activity to keep you busy all day. One of the issues I raised above was that sometimes you eat emotionally because you are just bored and have nothing productive to do the whole day, so the best way to deal with this is to find an activity to keep you active, that way you might even learn new talents you acquire. Do some online research and find activities that are available in your area and volunteer and start there. Just don’t do Nothing.
Love Your Self and put your self first. A lot of people like I said above, are passive and have a fear of voicing their opinions therefore they put others first and don’t value themselves and that becomes an issue because they rely on food to cope with being passive, therefore people need to start considering themselves first by saying Yes to themselves and No to others. You can not be a better person to others if you are not good to your self. Learn to say No to others and Yes to you, people may call it selfish but at the end of the day you have to be a happy person before making others happy. Love your self in order to love others better, and voice out your opinion with respect.
lastly remove your self from negative people. Although this may be hard because negative people can be your loved one’s, friends and family, it is very important that you separate your self from negativity all the time. Although you will not escape negativity always, you need to learn to face negativity in a positive way, and obviously it will not happen overnight, the more you try the better you become.
emotional eating is an issue that everyone goes through and it is disease that affect alot of people and we need to teach ourselves about it and learn to face it head on!