Emotional Eating ?
The Science of Emotional Eating and Food Addiction
Do You Find That:
You eat between meals ?
You eat when you are tired ?
You when you are stressed ?
You eat when you are busy ?
You eat when you are feeling down ?
You eat to reward yourself for having a good day ?
You eat because you have lost weight ?
You eat when you are bored ?
You could be emotionally eating.
This needs a little consideration:
Most eat differently at Christmas, birthdays and celebratory meals.
However, if you are overweight, have been on several diets and still looking for the answer, you could be emotionally eating.
Feeling bad about yourself doesn't help
Emotional eating (psychological eating) can lead to obesity with the related health problems.
The benefit is, it can help you manage your emotions.
Dopamine, cortisol and serotonin are the three hormones that play a roll in emotional eating and food addiction.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, regulates your stress response whilst regulating your body's use of carbohydrates and fat proteins.
Stress can lead to a compulsion to eat unhealthy foods
Most emotional eating is triggered by stress or boredom but this varies with the individual.
Recent research indicates, calorie-dense foods triggers fat accumulation whilst inhibiting the primary stress response.
A further controlled research group, found when isolated they reached for comfort food, emotionally reminding them of strong emotional relationships previously experienced.
Emotional Eating Can Lead To food Addiction
In the short term emotional eating tends not to lead to a pathology however, reaching for comfort foods on a regular basis can lead to significant physical and psychological health problems.
The issue being, emotional eating can prevent you from addressing your true emotions and sources of stress.
It might be said that eating to avoid facing feelings is similar to smoking to deal with stress or becoming an alcoholic to numb the pain.
Serving a similar purpose, to cigarettes and alcohol, emotional eating feels better than working the issue through.
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Losing Weight Is Is To Do With Managing Feelings
When We Manage Our Feelings We lose The Drive To Eat
Hormones That Facilitate Emotional Eating
Neurotransmitter dopamine is a critical player in all forms of addiction, including food addiction.
Stress hormone cortisol and the neurotransmitter serotonin also play important roles.
Cortisol is our main stress hormone, triggering the fight-or-flight or freeze response, additionally regulating how our bodies use carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
When we’re stressed or anxious, our bodies flood with cortisol, and we are pre-programmed to want carbs, craving sugary, fatty, salty foods.’ Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with learning about rewards comes into play, as we look forward to something good happening like eating comfort food offers a surge of dopamine as we move into a reward phase, all accompanied with serotonin triggered by tryptophan, an amino acid necessary to produce serotonin found in such foods.
Tryptophan, famously associated with turkey, also found in cheese.
Carbs including chocolate are linked to serotonin spikes.
Food Versus Feelings
The act of eating gives us something to do, it fills our time, gives us a way to procrastinate. Eating a lot of comfort food lowers our stress response. Comfort foods tend to be unhealthy, cake, biscuits,chocolate, ice cream and chips being among the more common.
With time, eating offers emotional relief; a temporary distancing from emotional discomfort and lowering our experience of stress.
There is a conscious and unconscious emotional discomfort. Sometimes we understand what we are feeling, sometimes we do not, we just feel uncomfortable or unhappy, we don't need to look into this when we can just eat.
Often this leads to shame, remorse, regret, guilt.
Exchanging the original discomfort for the familiar feelings that come after emotional eating.
Perhaps It Is Time To Change
Hypnotherapy Can Help You
You can reclaim control
You will wonder why you did not do this sooner
How to Separate Your Emotions From Your Eating
It’s important to separate your emotions from your food intake.
The real reason for food is to nourish us, giving the energy and health to enjoy our lives.
If we use food consistently for any other purpose we start to experience a change in shape and develop a dependency.
Food needs to be filed in our brains under nourishment and occasional pleasure.
When we reach for food the thing to ask is "Am I hungry"?
Wait quietly for the answer.
If we are not hungry what is it that we need at this moment?
Do we need something other than food to treat what we’re feeling?
If you find that your search for food is triggered by a negative emotion, we can find a more constructive way to address these feelings. Here we might look at mindful eating, eating in front of the television, is not helpful. sit and concentrate on every mouthful, at least your stomach will register that it has been fed.
What is the point of eating great food whilst we are emotionally distracted?
Eat slowly, not only is this healthy eating advice but if you’re distracted you will feel unsatiated after eating.
The goal to eating is to sit down and really experience that food and its flavors, to be aware that we have eaten. Not to be full, lethargic and tired but no longer hungry.
We Can Help
Contact me for a free initial consultation. CONTACT
At this appointment I will be able to asses the best way forward for you.
There are many brief strategic interventions which might be used today, successful therapy understands what the individual requires to change, hence the initial consultation.
Using the correct approach for you, will help you to manage your eating habits, put you back in the driving seat.
Eating incorrect food is only the symptom, once you start to manage your feelings better everything else can drop into place.