According to the Americal Psychological Association, about 27 percent of the adults in the US eat to manage stress.
This is one of the factors that contribute to the increased cases of obese and obesity. Eating in response to certain emotions is known as emotional eating.
Dealing with weight loss in Columbus, Ohio can be daunting if you respond to your emotional cues with food. Sadly, most people find themselves overeating, but they don't know how it's affecting their weight.
Keep on reading to learn how stress eating affects your weight.
Causes of Emotional Eating
Also known as stress eating, emotional eating occurs due to everyday issues, such as a hard day at work, unemployment, financial pressures, and relationship problems. Keep in mind that even positive emotions can lead to overeating.
When you're anxious about an upcoming event or activity, you're likely to procrastinate by eating. Feeling bored or lonely can also channel your attention to food. For some people, eating food can be a way to have fun during happy moments.
Of all emotions, stress is the primary contributor to overeating. This is because most people don't know how to manage their stressful emotions and moments. Plus, they feel reluctant to open up about their issues to their friends and loved ones.
Instead, they resort to overeating, drinking alcohol or using drugs as an escape to their stress.
The Connection Between Food and Mood
Some people think that eating food can help suppress their stressful emotions. This means they turn to food for comfort and contentment whenever they feel low.
This turns into impulsive or binge eating, whereby an individual eats whatever's convenient without really enjoying it. In some people, emotions can be connected to their eating habits. In this case, they'll automatically reach for a treat when stressed or angry.
Food also serves as a distraction for certain moods. Some people use it to take their minds off something that's worrying them. They find this approach more calming and feasible than dealing with their particular issues.
The problem is that this never works as the emotions return. This leads to an unhealthy cycle, which certainly affects your weight loss in Columbus, Ohio.
How Stress Eating Affects Your Weight
The problem with emotional eating is that people never really think about what they're eating. They eat in a way that doesn't support their health. This can be an obstacle for you if you have some weight loss goals to hit.
Your weight is basically a reflection of your lifestyle and habits. So, if you allow stress to weigh you down and push you to overheat, then the result is likely to be a few more pounds for you.
How often you emotionally eat and how much you eat will certainly impact your weight. Also, other ways you employ to cope up with your emotions also matter.
So, if how much you eat is more than what you physically need, then the surplus amount adds to your weight. In the long run, you're at risk of obesity.
Effects of Emotional Eating
Weight gain is the primary effect of emotional overeating. But, it's not the only this you'll experience.
You're likely to suffer guilt, especially if you're trying to cut some pounds. You'll feel guilt and remorse what you have done. This evokes other feelings, such as low-self esteem, shame, and even depression.
Nausea is also a possible result of this behavior. You're likely to experience stomach pain and a sickness-like feeling when your stomach is full. This can last for a day or two after overeating.
If you've children, you're also likely to negatively impact their eating habits and behaviors. Your kids will pick up on your habits and develop their own eating patterns. This means that you'll be ruining their relationship with food at an early age.
Curbing Stress Eating
You don't need to give in to your emotions every time they blow in. You can have control over them, consequently managing your eating habits.
One way to do this is identifying your emotional eating triggers. This will allow you to recognize your pattern whenever you experience certain emotions. Plus, you also need to list the types of foods you eat whenever you experience a particular emotion.
Distraction is also a great weapon against emotional eating. The best distractions are things that take only a few minutes to help you focus on other things that matter. Examples include:
- Taking a walk
- Dancing to your favorite music
- Talking or chatting with a best friend
- Sitting outside
- Engaging in fun activities, such as swimming
These are just a few ways you can use to distract your mind. There are different healthy ways you can use to take your mind off your cravings.
It also helps to seek help, and it's important that you do it. A therapist who understands cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you tackle your situation. CBT involves discovering things that are fueling your negative emotions and behaviors.
Get Your Weight-Loss Efforts Back
Just because you succumbed to emotional eating doesn't mean you have lost it all. In any situation in life, relapses are normal, but there are ways to bounce back. Here are some ways you can leverage:
- Manage your stress and negative emotions
- Keep a food diary to help you determine any patterns
- Don't confuse craving for hunger
- Take away temptations by remove hard-to-resist foods from your home
- Don't be hard on yourself as this will just fuel your cravings
- Learn from your mistakes and setbacks
- Fight boredom by reading, playing with your pet or watching a movie
Monitoring your weight loss progress can also help you stay focused and committed. Some apps and smartwatches have proven useful in helping with that.
Weight Loss in Columbus, Ohio - Final Thoughts
As noted before, weight gain is usually a result of our habits, most of which are controllable and preventable. If you give in to emotional eating, it's likely to take a toll on your weight.
So, if you're struggling with weight loss in Columbus, Ohio, we're here to help. At Central Ohio Bariatrics, we have a helpful team to offer nutritional counseling, psychological support, and medical weight management.
If you have any question, feel free to reach out to us.