Losing weight isn’t really that complicated, when you look at it: eat healthy food, and eat just enough. However, the problem lies in the fact that 75% of us are emotional eaters. That’s right—studies show that most of us reach for food for every reason except hunger. We’re bored, stressed, depressed, restless. These emotions act as our ‘eating trigger’ and lo and behold, we find ourselves reaching for a cookie or a second serving of pasta. Here are some of the most common eating triggers, the emotional compulsion behind them.
Eating trigger # 1: socializing
Food is the heart of many social occasions, and most of us eat because we want to fit in. There are family reunions where our mother encourages us to take a second or third plate of turkey, and we can’t say no because we’re afraid of hurting her feelings. Or, the reunion itself is so stressful that we nibble at food the whole day just to distract ourselves from the desire to scream at all our annoying relatives.
There’s also the eating at cocktail parties, where we pick at the appetizers so we don’t look like an idiot standing around with no one to talk to, or joining co-workers for beer and chips because that’s rhe only way to be one of the boys.
Eating trigger # 2: situations
It’s not just comfort food, but the rituals surrounding them. We always have a donut with our coffee; we always take dessert; we always have cocktails on Friday night; we always have chips when we watch ‘Glee.’
People like a sense of constancy and consistency. It gives us a sense of familiarity and control over our lives, and makes the world a ‘homier’ place: ‘The rest of the day can go to hell in a handbasket, but this little ritual makes me feel safe. All is right in the world.’
Eating trigger # 3: Stress
We eat when we are upset, unhappy o anxious. Sometimes it can be a quick, instantaneous response to an obviously crappy situation: you and your husband fight, and you wallow in self pity and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s icecream. But it can also be triggered by a thought—something so fleeting you almost don’t realize that’s why you suddenly feel hungry. Maybe you feel a bit bad about something that happened at work, and you’re starting to feel insecure and stupid. But you brush off the thought, tell yourself not to think about things like that, and before you know it, you’re distracting yourself with food.
Photo from sheknows.com