Are you emotionally eating?
There are many forms of emotional eating and quite often we don’t even know were doing it.
Think about how you express emotions. Now think about your best friend. How about your brother? Or your boss?
Everyone feels, expresses, and acts on emotions differently. So, it’s no wonder that there are also many different kinds of emotional eaters.
Understanding the different types is key if you’re trying to figure out your own habits (i.e. do you lunge for the ice cream when you’re giddy with joy or when you can’t stop crying?) or what’s triggering behaviors that make you reach for food?
Once you determine what the underlying emotions are that tend to drive emotional eating, it’ll be much easier to chart a path towards a solution.
Type of emotional eaters:
The reward eater
Reward eaters are very diligent people and eat when they are stressed, overwhelmed, overloaded or overdriven. Many busy women over 40 falls into this category.
They seldom delay unpleasing tasks or problems but tackle them systematically and stick to their goals until the end. At this time, they are quite stressed resistant.
After the work is done however, they follow the motto: “If nobody else sees how productive I was, I want to at least treat myself with something good.” Then they eat to reward themselves.
The harmony eaters
Other names for harmony eaters are “influenced eaters” or “self-esteem eaters”. As “people pleasers” they find it difficult to say no. They feel socially obliged to eat and drink what everyone else is eating and drinking.
Refuse means for them, as massive stress, as eating less than others. As harmony eaters, they have the tendency to avoid or push down thoughts, feelings, or situations that are uncomfortable.
The bored eater
Bored Eaters eat when they are bored – this can be at their desk, in front of the TV, in the car – just because it’s the pattern they always follow. They pay little attention to when they are eating and aren’t aware when they are full. For them, the only thing that seems to help pass the time is to eat.
Other triggers for bored eaters might be frustration and the feeling of inner emptiness. Eating when bored seems to be one of the most common types of emotional eating according to a study from the Psychology Department at Bowling Green State University.
The lonely eater
None would deny that human connection is one of our most basic needs. The Lonely Eater is either craving for a little personal interaction (e.g. friendship) or for love, intimacy, someone to share their life with.
Loneliness is a massive stress factor according to studies. Scientists have, in fact, found a direct correlation between loneliness and binge eating. Isolated living individuals consume on average more fat and have less regular meal times.
The anxiety eater
Anxiety Eaters fall into a habit of eating when they feel anxious, worried, tense, agitated, panic or nervous. Eating then may serve as an anxiety-reducing function.
A woman may have a hard time to control her disturbing, relentless, or scary thoughts, but she can control her eating. She starts a dangerous cycle, with her anxiety nourishing an eating disorder that can quickly spiral out of control. The anxiety eaters are sitting in a so-called “anxiety trap” and try to free themselves from it with food.
The tired eater
Not getting enough sleep is directly linked to stress and another major cause of overeating and weight gain. The tired eater is often energetically and emotionally depleted. Many people know that they have a tendency for food (especially sugar or carbs) when they are tired, in order to energize themselves.
A craving for rest/sleep comes with a lack of will power and increased appetite that makes it harder to stick to healthy eating habits
The binge eater.
Binge eaters have physical cravings for highly palatable foods such as sugary-fatty or salt-fatty in combination with complex emotional, environmental and psychosocial factors. Their primary trigger is a possible food addiction (chemical dependency).
If any What’s your type of emotional eater?
Very few people fall perfectly into one of the seven categories of an emotional eater and may engage in more than one. Also, it’s important to be aware that different circumstances demand different approaches.
Realizing that you have to respond to emotional hunger dependent on the circumstances is the first crucial step.
To find out how to overcome emotional eating email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and take your first step to get in shape, feel better and have more energy.