What is emotional eating?
Also known as stress eating, emotional eating refers to an action of overeating in response to any emotion. It could be a result of negative or positive emotions where eating serves to satisfy yourself. For many people, food serves as comfort from stress. For some, it acts as a reward for a job well done. Emotional eating satisfies the emotional needs instead of that of the stomach. But does this action applies to people with diabetes? What is the risk of it for diabetics?
Some people resort to overeating when they feel sad, hopeless, and disappointed. This action can lead to obesity or weight gain, which is a triggering factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. When people eat emotionally, they tend to reach for unhealthy foods only because these foods comfort them. They can be in the form of sweets, junk foods, or pints of ice cream. For people with diabetes, this is a big NO. Not only does this action cause a spike in blood sugar, but it also paves the way for diabetes-related complications.
Obesity is the most likely end result of emotional eating. But how is it related to diabetes? One major contributor to type 2 diabetes is obesity or weight gain. When a person becomes obese, insulin resistance starts developing. This condition is an essential component of why type 2 diabetes develops. The body becomes incapable of producing or using insulin properly during this condition. This makes it possible for the blood sugar levels to rise at an abnormal phase.
How to overcome emotional eating?
While rewarding yourself with food is acceptable, emotional eating can be a big problem due to stress or overwork. But how can you overcome this habit? We listed several items on how to stop emotional eating. Consider the following:
Take note of what you eat.
For many people, stress is the main reason emotional eating happens. If it’s the same thing for you, learn how you can tame your stress. You can use techniques to relieve or inhibit stress from happening again. You can do yoga or deep meditation to help calm your nerves.
Know what causes your emotional eating.
For many people, stress is the main reason emotional eating happens. If it’s the same thing for you, learn how you can tame your stress. There are techniques you can do to relieve or inhibit stress from happening again. You can do yoga or deep meditation to help calm your nerves.
Identify your hunger.
There’s a big difference between physical and emotional hunger. Identifying them is easy. If you just ate and crave another dish, there is a big chance it’s only emotional hunger. One smart way to overcome this is to keep yourself busy and let time pass your cravings.
Find ways to fight boredom.
Let’s say you’re at home feeling so bored. One of the many things that come to your mind is eating. This is already considered eating because boredom is an emotion. How can you prevent this? Find ways to fight boredom, such as listening to music, playing with your pets, watching a movie, or starting a conversation with your family.
Choose healthy snacks.
It is totally acceptable to have setbacks when overcoming emotional eating. Old habits die hard, so it’s not 100% guaranteed to stop this addiction. If you have the need to eat in between meals, choose healthy snacks. Choose nutritious snacks that do not contribute to a spike in your blood sugar.
Overcoming emotional eating can be difficult. However, if you have the will to stop it, you can achieve your goal by following the mentioned techniques. If you have diabetes, emotional eating can only worsen things. Be mindful of your health and evaluate which actions make your status worse or improve.