Understanding the relationship between eating habits and your emotions

Am I an Emotional Eater?

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you are uncomfortable?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food? If so, chances are you’re riding an emotional roller coaster

Food is necessary to maintain life. Food also has a social status: it is connected with our concept as a social being.  As humans evolved beyond eating to just survive, our relationship with food changed from necessity to pleasurable necessity.

  • Many high calorie-fat-sugar-salt foods offer little nutrients, but we have learned to associate taste with the expectation of an elevated mood. 
  • Research demonstrates that the brain releases b-endorphins, a natural pleasure chemical, when we eat our favorite foods.  For some people that might be ice cream, for others…enchiladas.  
  • The brain does not care what we eat, only that we LOVE TO EAT IT. As such, a relationship develops that often runs opposite of our health goals.

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