Emotional Eating: Don’t Let Feelings Control Your Diet
Emotional eating is an increasing problem among many teenagers. One of the biggest myths about emotional eating is that it's caused by negative feelings.
People often turn to food when they're stressed out, lonely, sad, or bored. But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings as well. For example, we have holiday dinners with our families to celebrate.
Sometimes emotional eating can be tied to a life altering situation such as a divorce. Most often, it’s caused by the everyday stresses that make us feel the need for comfort. All of us as well, have our own certain comfort foods depending on our mood and gender.
Researchers have begun to find that high-fat foods like chocolate activate certain chemicals in the body that give us a sense of fulfillment. These foods have an almost addicting force on you so when you have this feeling again you reach out for that food. I, myself, have had an experience with emotional eating.
Being in a relationship while still in high school isn’t always as simple as it seems. Having fights with my boyfriend, on top of all of the work that school brings, made me very nervous.
For days, I couldn’t eat because of my nerves. I felt that if I were to eat, everything would just end up irritating my stomach. Later, I tried to eat but it seemed as if I wasn’t hungry. After a couple days of not eating I got very weak and realized something had to change.
I came to the conclusion that I was practicing emotional eating, even if I wasn’t eating at all. I figured out that the first step to solving this problem was to find a way to relax.
I began to go for a daily run, and listen to my iPod more frequently.
Then, I chose my food more carefully; beginning with smaller amounts and gradually accelerating. I found that fruits, yogurts, and whole grain toast were best for snacking.
Throughout my day I tried not to overwork or stress myself out. I stuck to three full meals and two snacks a day. Over time I began to feel better physically and emotionally. Now every time I feel like emotionally eating I remember that there are always alternatives.
For anyone who is overeating, or who is under-eating because of their emotions, they should know you can always help change yourself by keeping track of what you eat, when you eat, rethink what you put in your mouth, and find activities that get you away from food.
My life without emotional eating is now more fulfilling. I find life filled more with love and fun, than stress and sadness. I now think much more positively about many aspects of my life, all thanks to dealing with my emotional eating.