The habit of eating any stressful situation or using food as a means of getting rid of boredom can adversely affect health. Nutritionist of the Grow Food healthy food delivery service Elena Sviridova told Izvestia on February 3 what compulsive overeating is and how to distinguish real hunger from emotional dependence.
“If you’re trying to deal with stress, fatigue, and negative emotions through food, then you’re prone to emotional overeating. When you’re bored, sad, or anxious, you suddenly have a craving for something to snack on. In this case, food becomes an assistant in stressful situations, a source of pleasure and a way to get rid of any negativity,” the specialist explained.
According to her, such overeating is called psychological, because it is difficult to control and hard to get rid of. This habit is psychogenic in nature, that is, a person cannot just stop eating through willpower.
In addition, psychological overeating often causes a feeling of guilt: after the next attack, a person hates himself for having broken again.
Sviridova explained how to distinguish real hunger from emotional. So, if the desire to eat arises suddenly and for no reason, this means that it is associated with emotions. Rumbling in the stomach, unpleasant sensations, a feeling of emptiness, weakness indicate physiological hunger, while emotional hunger is associated with thoughts – a person first thinks about food, not understanding whether he really wants to eat.
“To understand whether you are really hungry or go on about emotions, conduct an experiment. When you feel like snacking, ask yourself: Would you quench your hunger with fruit, nuts, salad, cereal, or any other healthy food? If not, then you are just experiencing negative emotions that you cannot cope with, ”the nutritionist recommended.
She noted that in order to get rid of emotional overeating, it is necessary to work with the triggers that cause hunger. It can be anger, annoyance, irritation, discontent, excitement. It is important to learn to recognize and express emotions, and not seize them.
“Work with yourself: write down or speak out emotions and allow yourself to experience, and not hide from them with food. Also, try to learn to distinguish between emotional hunger and real hunger. And eat when you’re really hungry, not just upset,” she said.
In addition, it is recommended to consider alternative options for dealing with stress – walking, taking a hot bath, talking with loved ones, a favorite hobby. If you feel that you cannot cope on your own, contact a specialist, since the consequences of emotional overeating, as well as its causes, are very serious, Sviridova concluded.
On January 27, a nutritionist, nutritional psychologist Nuria Dianova said that you can avoid overeating by not skipping the main meals during the day. Thus, a person will not eat too much in the evening.
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