Emotional overeating is a disorder that seems difficult, and it also devastates those who suffer from it. What is the cause of emotional overeating? What is the reason why some people who intentional and unintentional result of eating food to get comfort? Some answers to these questions are explained as follows.
Emotional overeating disorder is a common term used for all eating habits where normal hunger is not the stimulating factor in eating. This disease is very common in women than men. However, men in their teens and twenties suffer this disorder among the menfolk. Sufferers of this emotional overeating relate food with emotional comfort—they eat food to overcome negative emotional feelings.
1. Past TraumaDue to traumatic events experienced in the past, some people developed emotional overeating disorder. For instance, an individual that suffered sexual abuse or any other kind of sexual trauma may overeat whenever he or she feels anxious and confused. The result of this practice is the development of a fatter body, which some researchers suggest will make the sufferer feel protected from looking attractive to the opposite sex. Consciously or subconsciously, the desire of the person is to look unattractive. Other instances of past trauma or unfulfilled desires may lead to emotional overeating.
2. Poor Self-ImageSufferers of low self-esteem and negative/poor self-image may see overeating as comforting. Somehow, emotional eating is a physical expression of the inner feelings of the victim, and the weight that results lead to the image of self-disrespect for the sufferer.
3. Self-MedicationThose who have the challenge of emotional overeating may start using food as a drug unconsciously—just like alcoholics. Eating dulls or deadens the emotions that they find very hard to handle with otherwise.
4. DepressionAs stated in the introduction of this book, it has been shown from research studies that there is a strong relationship between depression and emotional overeating. Unfortunately, there are occasions when depression becomes worse a sufferer loses body weight. The meaning of the loss of weight is that the victim is not eating enough; thus not engaging in his or her coping mechanism.
5. StressUnrelieved stress can seriously set back the human body. It stimulates the body to synthesize chemicals such as the hormone called “cortisol.” Cortisol stimulates hunger, and as emotional stress increases along with this hormone, emotional eating will eventually occur.
Identify Your Triggers
Although it is commonly known that emotions trigger emotional overeating; however, there are more fundamental factors other than emotions. Recognizing your personal triggers can significantly help overcome emotional overeating that is not listed in the above group. Other examples are as follows:
- Emotional: Eating to get rid of stress, anxiety, or boredom, or to overcome any relationship problems.
- Psychological: Eating in response to negative, self-destructing thoughts.
- Environmental/Situational: Eating because there is a great opportunity to do so. In addition to that, the habit of eating food while you perform other activities, such as watching TV or reading.