Stress eating, also known as emotional eating, is the practice of consuming food in an attempt to respond to (stressful) feelings. People get engaged in stress eating especially when they are not hungry. Surprisingly, eating makes them (stress eaters) feel better as it relieves their stress.
Stress, and not hunger, is the root cause of emotional eating. Therefore, whenever stress eaters feel anxious, they start eating. Eating assuages their anxiety and stress. Also, it makes stress eaters feel easy and relaxed.
Stress Eating Follows Emotional Hunger
Most of us eat just to satisfy our physical hunger. However, there are also people who eat for emotional comfort, stress relief or to reward themselves. The hunger that leads such people to eat (or overeat) is known as emotional hunger.
Emotional hunger is always followed by emotional (stress) eating. Moreover, stress eaters tend to go after junk food and that’s, of course, not at all good for their health.
Things That Signify You Are Stress Eating
- If you are eating more at the times when you are stressed or anxious.
- In case you crave to eat even when your tummy is full.
- If you think food is a way to reward yourself.
- You’re definitely emotional eating if the food, you like, makes you feel safe.
- If you feel like losing your will power whenever you are around your favorite food.
Can Food Satisfy Your Emotional Hunger?
Food can never satisfy a person’s emotional hunger because this kind of hunger doesn’t actually require food. However, food can make them feel good and satisfied for a short time.
People often mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger. However, there is a lot of difference between the two kinds of hunger. Here are some basic characteristics of emotional hunger:
- Emotional hunger is usually a very powerful feeling that’s hard to ignore.
- It hits a person suddenly.
- Emotional hunger usually craves junk food, sweets, and suchlike (food) items.
- It often makes people overeat, which they regret later.
- Emotional hunger can also be called ‘mindless eating’.
- It can hit you right after having your meal.
- This kind of hunger eventually leads to shame, regret, and guilt.
Ways To Deal With Emotional Hunger
In case you think that your emotional hunger is on a severe level, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. If that’s not your case, there are many other ways that can help you deal with your emotional hunger. Some of those ways are as follows:
- You should, first of all, try to figure out the root cause behind your stress. In other words, you should know your stressors well. Find them to fight against them.
- You should make exercise your everyday practice. Hit the gym, go to a park (for walks), try yoga or do anything like that. But, do it on a regular basis. Exercise has always been one of the best stress busters.
- Try conversing with people around you; the people, you think, will understand you. Talking is an extremely effective way to deal with stress or stress eating.
- Start meditating regularly. Meditation helps like nothing else does. It starts showing up results way faster than the other ways.