This post is in response to a question asked on Y! Answers located here.
A great resource that discusses this topic in-depth can be found here, but as always, we will be making a great effort to provide you with an easy-to-read, brief explanation of the subject!
Why do we eat so much when we’re emotional (angry or sad)?
Well, believe it or not, emotional eating is an extremely common trend among individuals – so much so, that it actually contributes to a significant amount of the obesity present in the western world.
There are a number of causes that account for this occurrence, namely:
- Cortisol Cravings
These cravings are extremely difficult to control, as they are induced by our ‘stress hormone’, commonly known as cortisol. While cortisol has lots of benefits, excess levels of it also induce stress on the body, and when we’re stressed – We eat! This elevated stress creates a need for sweet and salty foods (some call these ‘comfort foods’).
- Social Eating
Similarly, when people are under stress (angry or sad) they tend to resort to a common theme – Entertainment. Unfortunately, most entertainment involves eating at a nice restaurant, going to a movie (mmm popcorn!), or going to the local ice cream/fast food joint.
- Old Habits Die Hard
This refers to habits acquired in our young years. We spend our lives training ourselves to react to certain situations at young ages – some people when they’re emotional will grab a cookie; the nice taste takes our minds off present issues and relax. Beware! These habits are particularly difficult to break.
Well, it may be difficult to control emotional eating, but understanding your emotions can be done with time. Keep an eye on your emotional triggers, understand what ‘sets you off’ and be proactive and you should be well on your way to controlling the Horrors of Emotional Eating!
Take care, and eat well!