Our body reflects our emotional state-our hearts pound when we’re afraid, our blood pressure soars when we’re angry, our stomachs churn when we’re feeling guilty. There are actually six major emotions that can trigger emotional eating and cause you to gain weight. The big surprise is that these emotions don’t have to be negative! Sometimes, positive emotions like happiness can get the best of your eating habits. The thing about emotional or comfort eating is that you crave fattening and sweet sugary stuff and yourself cannot stop yourself from overeating. Here are 6 emotions that can make you overeat and can lead to weight gain.
We all need someone who can comfort and distract us and when one isn’t around food is the best distractor. Even if you are not that hungry, it is natural to reach out to food when you are all by yourself. A new study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior revealed that people who often feel lonely experience greater circulating levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin after their meal, which causes them to feel hungrier sooner than normal.
Physiologically, stress triggers fat storage by increasing production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The stress response in athletics is great because you need the burst of energy but if you’re sedentary and can’t burn off that energy and in the case of emotional danger, there’s no running away. The high stress hormone levels (particularly cortisol) lead to weight gain, especially around the belly.
Happiness and food go hand in hand. After scoring well in an exam or kicking that presentation at work, we all think that we have earned a treat for ourselves and it does not feel wrong to indulge a little. It’s like rewarding ourselves for achievement and hard work. In this entire process, people often end up having unhealthy stuff and eating more than they usually do.
Anxiety is a magnet for weight gain. It’s so easy to reach for food when we’re feeling jammed up with fear. Two out of three people with eating disorders suffer from anxiety. Anxiety leads to a fight-or-flight response and this instant, unconscious response can lead to weight gain. Why? We can neither run from our thoughts, nor fight them. So we stuff them down with food. If you’re serious about losing weight, get a handle on your anxiety!
When you’re bored you actually lose your ability to make smart food choices; you become an “emotional eater,” And boredom turns you into the worse kind of emotional eater, because you not only make the wrong food choices, you eat much more of those fattening foods than you normally would.
Frustration is another feeling that drives our emotion. You are frustrated with your relationship, work or other things, it is obvious to reach out for your comfort food to divert your attention. It lets you temporarily escape from the reality. Food may help mask stresses and resentments, but only for a while. You will be trapped in the situation unless and until you muster the courage to face it.