Are You Emotionally Eating?
Food cravings are Interesting
From personal experience, I believe the root of cravings is influenced by our emotional state and mental health. This can relate to emotional lack, depletion, emotional rollercoasters, over-serving, people pleasing, suppressed emotions, feeling stressed, you get the idea. As self-soothing behaviors through food become chronic, they begin to imbalance our blood sugar and related hormones. Especially as it’s usually sweets, carbs, and things that send blood sugar spiking, perhaps we are craving sweeter aspects of life. And it changes the way the brain responds to food in reference to reward.
What Causes Food Cravings?
We often hear cravings are caused by hormones but what came first, the chicken or the egg? What is the root of the initial craving? Scarfing down too many snacks at the end of your day? Depleated? Eating ice cream after a breakup? Missing the sweetness of love. Gain weight after grief or a traumatic experience? This can also reflect how we use food to create physical protection from being hurt again or “holding on” to what is now a loss. (This is also seen in the unprocessed energetics around hoarding.)
We reach for food during emotionally turbulent times and then pretend that our response to emotions plays no part in our health or are indeed, the root of both health and disease. I recently had to take a hard look at my own eating habits because I myself was reflecting on binge eating patterns. My close friends were like “What are you talking about, I never see you do that.”
Ahh yes, because we usually self-soothe alone, in secrecy. Just as we may swallow down our feelings, alone, in secrecy from the world. Lots of pretend going on and eventually we find ways to cope through these self-soothing behaviors. At the bottom of this, we must take a good look at where we lived in the past, what we choose to allow in our lives, how we spend our days, unhealed wounds, and how this reflects our relationship with food and/or self-soothing behaviors.
I do believe there are addictive substances throughout all processed foods and mineral depletion in our food can be related to cravings. However, there are massive emotional components around using food to self-soothe that are often overlooked.
How To Stop Craving Food?
If any of this sounds familiar, I encourage you to track when your eating habits fall off – paying attention to your emotional state around eating habits. Once I shifted things in my life that were causing depletion through overserving in both my personal and professional life, my cravings decreased tremendously. I no longer had to replace the energy that I was too freely offering to others. I no longer had to compensate for the mass energetic depletion that overserving and lack of boundaries would eventually create. As I “let go” of these aspects of my life that were no longer serving me in the capacity that they once were, my chronic bloating decreased. I was no longer binging or holding on, nor was I swallowing down my feelings and needs in lieu of other people’s needs before my own.
In case you are wondering, my vice of choice was potato chips and just to be clear, binging is a self-soothing habit while overindulging on occasion is entirely different. At the end of my day, I would walk to the store and get a bag of potato chips, knowing damn well what I was about to do. Did I hide it well? I sure did because I’m active, exercise often, and have extremely balanced and clean habits around food elsewhere. I didn’t do this every day, more so a few times a week. However, that does not mean that my behavior was not an emotional and self-soothing pattern to fill an energetic void and depletion. Just because we hide things well, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. This behavior is often what starts this cycle to begin with.
How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Food
Our relationship with food, reasons for bloating, food sensitivities, food allergies, etc. can be extremely complicated. And often need a holistic approach to fully heal. If you are cutting out foods, taking enzymes, probiotics, supplements, and all the things and still have digestion imbalance, I encourage you to ask yourself what you are swallowing down. Ask what has not been fully healed, what you are unable to let go of, and what is depleting you.
Embrace mindful eating and reclaim control.
Understanding and addressing emotional eating is an essential step toward nurturing our mental and physical well-being. By recognizing the signs of emotional eating and distinguishing between physical hunger and emotional hunger, we can begin to navigate our relationship with food in a more mindful and authentic way. Instead of turning to comfort foods as a coping mechanism, we can explore healthier alternatives to soothe our emotions. Allowing ourselves to feel them fully without using food as a distraction. It’s important to pay attention to the triggers that set off our urge to eat. It helps to unravel the underlying emotions that may be driving our eating in response.
Remember, eating is eating, and there is no shame in finding solace in food from time to time. However, if we find ourselves trapped in a cycle of emotional eating that is affecting our overall well-being, it may be helpful to seek support from professionals who can help us navigate this journey towards balance. Let’s empower ourselves to break free from societal norms, stop emotional eating, embrace mindful eating, and reclaim our autonomy over our bodies and emotions. It’s time to create our own revolution in self-care and wellness.