In continuation to the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger:
– With emotional hunger, you keep wanting more and more and it is not satisfied until you are uncomfortably stuffed. On the other hand, with physical hunger, you feel satisfied when you are full and it does not need to be stuffed.
– With emotional hunger, you crave certain foods, as you are focused on specific smells and tastes, and it triggers feelings of powerlessness and guilt, but physical eating does not make you feel bad about yourself.
The common causes of emotional eating are as follows:
– Stress – have you ever noticed how stress makes you hungry? When your stress is chronic, it leads to high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which triggers craving for high fat, sweet and salty foods that give you a burst of pleasure. The more stress you have in your life, the more you turn to food for comfort.
– Stuffing down uncomfortable emotions – you use food to temporarily silence the feelings of fear, anger, resentment, loneliness and anxiety. You avoid these emotions through numbing yourself with food.
– Boredom – has it occurred to you that you eat simply to fill the void in your life or to relieve boredom? You consider food as a way to occupy your time and your mouth, especially if it distracts you, in the moment, from underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with your life.
– Habits from childhood – think back if your parents used to reward your good behavior with sweets, ice cream and pizza, or serve you that when you were feeling sad. This emotionally-based eating habit from childhood often goes on into adulthood. Sometimes, your eating is driven by nostalgia, as you cherish the memories of baking and eating cookies with your mom or grilling burgers with your dad in the backyard.