Emotional Eating & fOOd Addiction

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Eating seems to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. But unfortunately, people with food addiction compulsively eat certain foods to the point where it’s physically and mentally unhealthy. At some point in people’s lives, people face times and trauma where they can get woefully addicted to food and begin to eat compulsively. The underlying difference with this compared to other addictions is that food is not avoidable in order to survive. That’s what makes it so challenging.

Food addiction and these emotional eating patterns are among the hardest conditions to overcome. Yet, society seems to ignore the importance of tackling this addiction. Again, maybe due to the necessity of food to live every day. We run on emotions, and food is a coping mechanism. As human beings, we experience intense emotions, and sometimes we want to numb/medicate ourselves from experiencing those intense emotions, and we do so through food. We put ourselves on autopilot that you know goes from this strong emotion straight to the refrigerator and pantry.

People know exactly what they need to do most of the time, but it almost feels impossible to change the style. Food addiction is not necessarily a failure of the self; it’s just a result of the way our brains are. To a certain degree, everybody is an emotional eater. Happy bored, sad, lonely, we eat. The reward system in the brain makes us crave more of the same food. This causes a loop of craving and reward that leads to eating the same foods repeatedly, even when it’s not good for us. It affects the same brain areas as other addictions, including drugs. These binge eating patterns for emotional reasons like stress, depression, eating alone, or eating to the point where you’re physically uncomfortable doesn’t affect us just physically but emotionally. Cause if you’re feeling sad and eating junk, you continue to spiral down. All of us must tackle this eating epidemic. The primary solution must start with awareness and the willpower to change.

Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com
Photo by Brandon Hunter
  • Recognize you need help: talk to your provider; they may refer you to a specialist or clinic for help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you’ll feel better. But this step all starts when you recognize a problem. Seek out help. Talk to someone but don’t be too hard on yourself. There is no room to self-shame yourself 24/7 or attempt to starve yourself.
  • Join eaters anonymous. Just like alcohol anonymous (take steps to overcome) Know this is not easy. Just like anything, there are withdrawals.
  • Adjust your surroundings. Purchase healthier foods instead of binge-worthy stuff. Start with just eating less and cutting down your portions. Cut down on junk foods and fast foods and work on eating less of that but not eliminating it all at once.
  • We do things because they feel good, and we don’t do things because they don’t feel good. If you’re eating when you’re full, STOP
  • Know that food addiction and obesity are not the same- Be realistic and buy less processed foods, refined sugars, trans fats, extra additives, etc. Focus more on clean whole foods/vegetables, lean proteins, and not foods high in sugar, bad fat, and salt.

4 responses to “Emotional Eating & fOOd Addiction”

  1. Great post! What’s scary is that sometimes people do not even realize they are binge eating and it severely affects their health. Eating is crucial to your overall day, mood, and life. Great read.

    Liked by 1 person

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