Ask Mira : Eating Right to Live Happy & Healthy
You feel sad, you eat; you feel happy, you eat; you feel tired, you eat; angry, eat; stressed, eat. Sometimes, you eat to celebrate, and sometimes it is a kind of punishment, you feel bad about yourself and you eat to punish yourself even more.
But then you feel guilty because you have broken your diet in a second. If this is you, then this article is for you.
Eating to satiate your emotions, makes you, for want of a better term, an emotional eater. Eating when you are emotional, rather than when you are hungry is something most people occasionally do. However, this emotional eating starts to be a problem when it becomes abnormal and you feel that it is out of your control.
This type of eating plays a major role in some people being overweight. Various emotions can trigger this eating disorder, including boredom, anger, sadness, happiness, anxiety, loneliness, stress, low self-esteem, disappointment and frustration.
Ask yourself, am I hungry now or am I eating for another reason? Usually when you eat because of your emotions, you are too happy or sad to feel whether you are actually hungry or not, so you cannot recognize the feeling of fullness, because you are taken into the emotions of the specific moment.
The way out of emotional eating, is to seek another activity that goes with your emotions. Find an activity that brings the mental and psychological comfort you find in foods, whether it is sugary or salty items.
For example, if you are eating because you are angry or stressed, you can run on the treadmill. Any intense activity will secrete endorphins, and these hormones will make you feel relaxed and eventually will block your cravings.
If you are eating because you are happy, replace that by activities that make you feel good about yourself, like shopping, clubbing, going out with friends or just chatting with a humorous friend.
If you are eating because you are depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
If you are eating because you are anxious, spend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song or squeezing a stress ball. If you are eating because you are exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, do a relaxing massage, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
If you are eating because you are bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, call a friend, or turn to an activity you enjoy.
For some people when they think of happiness, it is chocolate, with others solace to sadness and stress can be chips. You can change all these habits and turn your snacks into healthy ones.
If you want something sweet, you can try a fruit salad, yogurt with some fruits or snack bar for example, instead of chocolate cakes or doughnuts. Also, a small number of nuts and almonds gives you the feeling of fullness for a longer time, even more so than biscuits or other cookies. Or, how about a whole-grain toast topped with jam; it is an ideal option considering it is both sweet and nutritious.
If you feel stressed out, try a cup of chamomile tea before you hit the bed, it will help calm you down.
Also, remember not to skip meals. People who are emotional eaters often lose their sense of hunger. They are always full because they snack a lot. Feeling hunger before meals is an excellent factor that contributes to weight loss or weight maintenance.
By slowing down and savoring every bite, you will not only enjoy your food more but you will also be less likely to overeat. Slowing down and savoring your food is an important aspect of mindful eating, the opposite of mindless, emotional eating.
as you will appreciate each bite of food much more.
Cinnamon, a warming spice, has gained a special reputation for helping to beat sugar cravings. Cinnamon seems to help the body control the amount of sugar in our blood, which regulates the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ that can induce cravings.
When you feel a swing in emotions, boil one stick of cinnamon in half a liter of water, add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy it twice a day.
Emotional eating does not fix any underlying emotional problems. In fact, it usually makes you feel worse. So learn to accept your feelings, seek help and give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision.