Eating anxiety, or emotional hunger, has become a trigger for other health disorders such as obesity and overweight
Nowadays, many people are looking for methods to combat eating anxiety. This problem, also known as emotional hunger, has become a trigger for other health disorders such as obesity and overweight. At first, feeling the need to eat something may seem normal. But when this habit occurs too often, health, weight and quality of life can be affected.
Eating anxiety is a tendency to obsessively eat food in response to negative emotions. It usually goes hand in hand with preoccupation with body weight. In turn, the fact of being overweight influences the difficulties to control such behavior.
The main symptoms are the need to resort to food every time there is an episode of sadness, binge eating compulsively to the point of choking, eating until excessively full, feeling guilty after eating, snacking uncontrollably between meals and making nightly visits to the refrigerator.
Ways to combat food anxiety
Learning to recognize the triggers of food anxiety is the first step in combating it. In this sense, it would be necessary to identify those situations in which the uncontrollable desire to eat appears, since it allows to recognize the problem and address it in the right way.
- Reconvert your emotions. Every time you feel hungry, look at the parts of your body where your overweight is most noticeable, usually the hips in women and the belly in men. Now imagine that hunger you feel as a “bubbling” that is dissolving the accumulated fat, and without having to do sport!
- Keep a food diary. One of the strategies that help to combat food cravings is to keep a daily record of the food you eat. Write down what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. The goal is to identify emotional eating triggers.
- Meditate. Learning to meditate will be quite helpful in combating food cravings. This practice not only recognizes emotions, but induces a state of relaxation that helps to control them.
- Follow a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that provides essential nutrients in the right amounts. So it will be necessary to include a little bit of everything, but being aware of the importance of selecting quality foods. On the other hand, we should limit the intake of fried foods, sodas, ice cream, sweets, ultra-processed foods or products of low nutritional quality.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity brings many health benefits. So walking, going to the gym, jogging or practicing a sport brings positive effects in the short and long term. Exercise helps to stop the secretion of cortisol and norepinephrine, hormones that are linked to anxiety.
You don’t need to be an expert to reap the benefits. And while it may seem tedious at first, over time it becomes an easy habit to follow. Now to play it safe, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to identify the triggers of eating anxiety.