Actually, we do not always eat because we are hungry; we also resort to food for stress relief and comfort, but unluckily emotional eating does not solve emotional problems. Usually, it makes you feel worse, as you feel guilty for overeating while the original emotional issue remains.
To recognize emotional eating triggers is the first step to liberation from compulsive overeating and food cravings. If you dive into a pint of ice cream when you are depressed or if you make room for desert even though you are already full, then you are experiencing emotional eating.
Using food from time to time for celebration or as a reward is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when you think of eating whenever you are angry, upset, bored, lonely, or stressed, then you are an emotional eater and you need to get out of this unhealthy cycle where you never address the real problem or feeling.
You may feel good with eating in the moment, but what triggered eating is still there, and you will feel worse than before due to the unnecessary calories and not having willpower. Adding to the problem, you will have a hard time controlling your weight and feel increasingly powerless over both your feelings and food.
As a matter of fact, there is a difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger, and this can be trickier than it sounds. It is easy to mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger, but here are some clues to help you tell the difference:
– Emotional hunger hits you suddenly and feels urgent, on the other hand physical hunger comes gradually and the urge to eat does not demand instant satisfaction.
– Emotional hunger makes you crave specific comfort food, but with physical hunger almost any food sounds good.