The Connection Between Emotional Eating and Weight Gain
None of us likes to gain weight but it happens and usually we know why but if you find yourself gaining weight and don’t know why it can be even more frustrating. Because emotional overeating involves mindless eating it often creeps up on you which could explain that unknown weight gain. Here are some more things to look at to help you identify whether or not you suffer from emotional overeating.
Unexplainable Weight Gain
We already briefly mentioned this in the above paragraph but it’s worth repeating. Because emotional eating is often done mindlessly, the weight gain ‘sneaks’ up so if you’re eating somewhat healthy, even working out regularly but still gaining weight you could be an emotional overeater. One thing to pay attention to is, if when you’re feeling emotional (sad, angry, etc) how you eat – do you turn to junk/comfort foods during these times? If so that could explain why even with healthy eating and working out regularly you’re gaining weight.
A Sudden Urge
Do you notice that you have food cravings out of the blue? For example you could be sitting watching TV, reading a book, working on the computer (whatever it may be) and all of a sudden for no explained reason you have this sudden urge for a bag of potato chips or your favorite ice cream. A lot of emotional overeaters say these irresistible cravings come on frequently. If it’s true hunger it’s more of a gradual thing that comes on over the course of an hour or few hours not suddenly like these cravings.
It’s been found that emotional eating has been linked to depressed more and more these days. Start paying attention to those periodic bouts of depression (we all get them) and how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. If during these times you find yourself thinking of food, especially a specific thing like ice cream or cookies or potato chips (any comfort food really) this can certainly be a sign that your overeating is based on emotions.
Are you going through a stressful time in your life simultaneous to your weight gain? Have you seen that pattern before? Stress, with its accompanying anxiety and other negative feelings, can trigger someone to overeat in response to those feelings.
Take note of how you feel after you get done eating. If you find yourself feeling ashamed or consumed by guilt these are definite signs that you’re emotionally overeating. If you were eating normally there would be absolutely no feelings of guilt or shame!
This was mentioned briefly above but it’s getting mentioned again because it’s an important one.
Keep in mind that if you were truly hungry and not emotionally overeating, you would be open to any food not a specific food like what you’re craving. Meaning, if all of a sudden you get this crazy irresistible urge for a big bowl of mashed potatoes because you’re ‘starving’ you would be open (if you were truly ‘starving’/hungry) to eating a tuna fish sandwich. An emotional overeater generally isn’t open to anything other than whatever craving hits them at that time.
To your best health,