Emotional eating

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The truth is everyone eats for emotional reasons some of the time. You have an argument with your partner, and you storm into the kitchen to fix something to eat. Your boss reams you out for something, and you take yourself to a lavish lunch, thinking you deserve it after all. You’re waiting for your habitually late friend to join you for dinner at a restaurant, and the minutes drag by like hours, and by the time he arrives, you’ve eaten and even downed two beers.

Anger, humiliation, boredom —at the time, each seemed like a good reason for eating, as if food could fix the feeling. For some of us however, the psychology factor influences the totality of our relationships with food and the entire pattern or habit of our eating. That’s why, psychology often plays an important role in the weight loss program.

Patients at a weight loss program are called intakes by health professionals. The primary intake is medical, looking at the problem of overweight as a total health issue. The second intake is by a staff nutritionist, who analyzes the patient’s eating habits and relationship with food. The third intake is offered by a psychotherapist who can help a patient identify the psychological factors that may have contributed to the weight problem, understand the influences on the person’s eating decisions, and manage the responsibility for making better decisions in the future.

No book can do that for you. A single chapter can’t even identify, much less diagnose, the particular issues that are the psychological factors in your eating habits. But what is certain for everybody is that psychology is a factor. Knowing how it might be influencing your eating choices is an important component. To make mindful choices about food, it helps to look not just outward at the food options you have, but also inward at the influences that may be impelling you toward one option or another.

It is extremely helpful to be aware of the psychological factors that may be influencing your eating habits. Once you’re able to examine and identify the possible root causes for eating or overeating and deal with them, it will result in having control over emotional eating. Food will only fix and ease hunger pangs while giving your body nutrients. It does nothing significant for your mood.