Research shows that sugar, fatty foods and chocolate please your brain. So your mind releases “feel good” chemicals to reward you. Foods with calcium, chromium and folate, like milk, broccoli and avocados, lower your stress and depression levels and help energize you. No wonder I can resist guacamole. 😕
But does food ever really make you happy?
Sure, you may experience an enhanced mood or even euphoric feeling when you eat some foods. But this usually only lasts for a short period of time. And many of the foods which cause a naturally enjoyable sensation in your mind are not very good for you. Foods heavy in processed sugar, salt and fat, drinks and foods rich in chocolate and caffeine, all of these attack your brain just like a narcotic does in a drug addict.
Addictive Foods That Deliver Short-Term Pleasure Can be Dangerous
In the short term you may feel amazing, but afterward you are put in a poor emotional state. You know the guilts, the negative self talk and the vows to never do it again.
Your body was designed to reward you with pleasurable and comfortable feelings when you eat. Back in the caveman days this ensured that we eat enough to survive. Over the last few centuries we as a society has turned to food to make us happy. We need to start to focus on what true happiness is and realize that it doesn’t come from food. We need to find another way to make ourselves happy from within.
If you have an unhealthy relationship with food, it can make you downright unhappy. You eat chocolate, you enjoy a sweet, fat-filled, sugar-packed treat or snack, and you get a nearly instantaneous feeling of pleasure and happiness.
But not long after, that feeling disappears, only to be replaced with an irresistible craving for more unhealthy food. Then the guilt creeps in. You become angry at your inability to control your desire for these unhealthy foods which make you feel so good. This can lead to binge eating, and the dangerous “food for happiness” cycle continues. This could lead to even more destructive behaviors. If that is case, please seek professional advice, talk to a physician or food addiction specialist.
Journaling Your Eating Can Help
From merely packing on a few extra pounds to causing life-threatening heart diseases and other maladies, eating for the wrong reasons can lead to a wide range of health problems. Keep a food journal to find out if you are eating in response to periods of high stress or other emotions, and you will identify if you are eating unnecessarily.
Want to learn more about emotional eating?? Check out my Action Guide that give you 10 Tips to Combat Emotional Eating