The 21st Century is a stressful time. How often, the moment you reach the safety of your home after a particulariy bad day in school, at the office or even your commute home, do you open the refrigerator door to grab a stress relieving snack? More often than not. this comfort food is high in calories, high in fats and high in sugars, the perfect solution to to drive away the problems of the world, but also the perfect means of gaining unwanted pounds and keeping them on.
Emotional eating is immediate gratification for a stressful problem. It's painless and feels good right away, but is often just a cover up for underlying troubles. Emotional eating is a complex problem. For many people, it's a pattern that they've practiced for years and years -- perhaps even since their childhood. Emotional eating is one of the most prevalent and accepted practices in today's culture. While it is broadly accepted and joked about, this is something that can be managed so you are better able to cope with life without using food as a crutch.
Emotional eating is considered an unhealthy practice since it can lead to obesity or malnutrition, depending on the severity of the practice and the explicit relationship of food to emotions. Studies show that the logic behind why many people gain weight -- and keep it on -- is emotional eating, not eating to relieve hunger.
Emotional eating is part of our society. We use food to celebrate, to cope with trouble, to deal with a hard day at work and even boredom (ever sit in front of the TV eating mindlessly?) When one does it occasionally, it's not a big dilemma. Emotional eating is by no means always an indication of an eating disorder but it is regularly a contributing aspect in cases of obesity and its associated health risks. This is an example of food addiction which is very stubborn to resolve.
Emotional eaters can pursue some steps in order to cultivate an improved relationship with emotions and food. First off, a person should understand that while food is important to live, to have too much of a passion for it is not healthy. Generally, the emotional eater believes that she must eat to calm the unwelcome emotions being felt. Clear your head. Call a buddy, go for a hike, write, chat to a counselor, do yoga, tidy the backyard, or scrub the bathroom. Exercise releases endorphins and adrenaline, which make you feel good and give you a boost of energy. A speedy 15-minute workout or walk will help you empty your head and deal with what is actually bothering you. Exercise raises your neurotransmitters and helps you so that you're less emotional, you have healthier emotions. Steer away from mindlessly eating food and feel your real emotions.
Instead of trying to focus on what they are eating, the emotional eater should learn new skills to cope with traumatic situations. Regularly this requires the help of a personal coach or psychotherapist who deals with emotional eating. Instead, food is the middleman between sensing something we don't want to feel and freezing or distracting ourselves from experiencing it. We don't eat for enjoyment, taste, or particular sensations, we eat for the effect the food will have on us. We eat because we're happy or sad, outraged or depressed, bored, or worried. Hunger is the least of it. Hunger is sometimes associated with irrational fears of being deprived or even abandoned. This can lead to panic when hunger approaches.
Often people handle stress and damaging feelings with food which may prove to be very unhealthy in the long-term. We can pile on weight, and multiply our cholesterol levels, putting us in danger of a series of health problems in the future. Discovering new methods to resolve your problems and cope with stress will drive food out of the equation. You'll feel good about discovering solutions which will replace your dependence on food.
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