Understanding emotional eating is critical to maintaining a healthy body weight. And even if your weight is right where it needs to be, if you are eating the wrong foods, it will cause your body to get out of whack. We are one of the few mammals that eat to do more than to satisfy hunger. Us humans will find any reason to eat a reward, relieve stress, and provide a sense of comfort and support.
[Tweet “Recognizing your unhealthy eating triggers is important so you do not sabotage your exercise and nutritional plans “]for a healthier and happier you. When you eat for the wrong reasons, whatever issues or circumstances existed before this unhealthy emotional eating episode will still be there. So, how can you identify your unhealthy eating triggers? Great question. It may be easier than you think.
[Tweet “Commit this to memory, emotional and spiritual hunger can never be filled with food.”]Â I’m a big believer in pushing that imaginary pause button.Â Ask yourself if you are an emotional eater. Be very honest with your answers to the following questions:
- Do you often times find yourself eating after periods of intense stress?
- Do you continue to eat after you know that you are physically full?
- Do you frequently reward financial, personal and business achievements with food?
- Do you often eat until you are stuffed?
- Does the thought of eating make you feel safe and content?
- Does just thinking about food make you feel powerless or out of control?
These are all instances where unhealthy eating triggers are activated. Because of habit, environment or some other issues, if you answered yes to any of the questions above, you have developed unhealthy eating habits which are triggered by outside influences. This is not to shame you, it’s for awareness. Once you become aware you can start to make changes.
How do you determine if you are emotionally vs. physical hunger which means you need fuel in the tank.
- emotional hunger usually comes on very quickly and you usually want something SPECIFIC!
- natural, physical hunger usually means eating just about anything sounds good. Even eating your own arm. I’ve been know to get hangry if I don’t eat on time, what about you?
Please keep in mind that [Tweet “emotional hunger usually is not satisfied once you are physically full,”], because this hunger is located in your mind and if you are distracted, you could wolf down an entire bag of potato chips or your favorite comfort food at one sitting. Have you ever been a victim of mindless eating? You start by having just one and then BOOM the bag is gone?
Take the time, to identify and respond appropriately to your unhealthy eating triggers, and you will not suffer the regret, shame or guilt that accompany the weight gain and the mental stress that emotional eating delivers.