Are you eating for emotional reasons?
Maybe you eat to celebrate a positive achievement or to punish yourself for some type of failure. Can you remember times as a child when you snuck food or sugar because you were scared, sad, or upset? If any of these
sound like you, you may be eating simply to fill a void in your life. It’s easy to do, because there are so many great tasting foods but sadly some of them are actually NOT healthy for you.
Filling a Void With Comfort Foods Can Be Unhealthy and Dangerous …
A lot of the “comfort foods” commonly used as an emotional crutch are unhealthy, and even dangerous when taken in excess. So if you are eating for the wrong reasons, emotional, mental, or spiritual ones, you could be treating your problem with food which in turn
creates even more issues in your life.
You begin to live in a dangerous cycle where you feel bad about your emotional eating habits which
leads to depression and low self-esteem. You then treat this pain by eating… again… so you stay in a never ending emotional roller coaster. In a very short period of time a healthy individual can suffer drastically and significantly, both emotionally and physically, by eating for the wrong reasons.
If you have just lost a loved one, you may turn to food to soothe your feelings. Research has shown that fat, sugar and salt make us feel good which is why most of the “comfort foods” we enjoy as a child are loaded with sugar, fat, salt, or a combination of all 3.
Dopamine, Endorphins and Their Effect on Emotional Eating
The problem arises when you gorge yourself on foods heavy in carbohydrates, starches, sugars, fats, and salt. The chemicals in those types of food naturally release endorphins and dopamine in your brain. Endorphins are a “feel good” chemical, and dopamine slowly lowers the effect of fat, sugar-filled and carb-rich foods on your brain.
This means that in order to soothe yourself, you require more of these foods to deliver the same response over time. In this way, eating to fill some void or a missing component in your life can very naturally, and very gradually, lead to obesity, health and cardiovascular problems, poor circulation and a host of physical ailments.
Coping with loss or any other major void or absence in your life is very difficult. Get help from your friends and families emotionally. Turn to a psychiatrist or food addiction specialist for more answers. The next time you feel the urge to eat, ask yourself if it is for emotional or physical reasons. Mistreating an emotional problem or void with food usually leads to poor health, as well as more physical and emotional stress.
Is There Hope?