Food is linked to survival and therefore undeniably to human beings and their functioning. From childhood they reward and punish us with food and the brain records this information and integrates it into everyday life. Therefore, it is not just any vital act, the act of feeding ourselves is associated with multiple factors, situations, emotions, …
Mood influences the way we feed ourselves simply by being happy or, by shocks, … contrary, depressed, can influence and determine the way to carry it out and, as proof of this, food becomes the easiest and most accessible refuge. the action of eating brings a feeling of well-being.
It is likely that if we are in a state of serenity it is easier for our diet to be adequate. But if, on the other hand, we experience emotions that we consider unpleasant, such as sadness, anger or anxiety, we tend to look for ways to handle that negative mood, and this can lead us to seek relief or refuge in food.
What is emotional intake?
We define emotional intake as eating behavior in response to affective states. People who have this type of intake have difficulties in distinguishing between the feeling of hunger and other negative states that ensue. Using food to calm me, distract me or not think, as a way to deal with my uncomfortable or unwanted emotion, an “effective” response appears momentarily, and that means that in the future there is a greater probability of doing the same. People develop learned behaviors that respond to pleasant or unpleasant events. Thus, food becomes an emotional regulator and therefore emotional intake appears.
How to identify and differentiate it from physical hunger?
Emotional hunger is sudden, while physiological hunger is gradual and gradual.
Emotional hunger is urgent, while physiological hunger can keep you waiting.
Emotional hunger requires specific foods, while the physiological is open to different options.
Emotional hunger is not satisfied by feeling fullness, while physiological hunger is ended by being satisfied.
Emotional hunger generates negative feelings when finished, while physiological hunger does not.
Some long-term consequences
Generate a major eating problem: eating disorders (binge eating, anorexia and / or bulimia).
Overweight or obesity problems.
Affective states consistent with depression and anxiety social isolation difficulty solving conflicts or solving various emotional states …
What can be done to regulate emotions in a healthier way?
Identify the emotions and recognize which thoughts activated the lived emotions as uncomfortable. Generate alternative and realistic thoughts (consistent with the situation) and work on solving the conflict. Doing physical activity take care of the moment of rest and sleep Seek professional help.
In conclusion, the balance between an adequate diet and the management of emotions is important for good physical and mental health. It is essential that we understand that food may appear to be a temporary solution to manage emotions, however the long-term consequences can be detrimental, as mentioned above, because instead of allowing us to face situations in a healthy way and overcome problems effectively, contributes to generating more physical and emotional difficulties, which is why it is vital that we seek and achieve a balance between the way we eat and the management of our emotions.