What is Emotional Eating Disorder?

If you start a diet every Monday and can’t keep it until the end of the day or the end of the week and you can’t stop yourself from eating, your hunger may not be in your stomach but in your soul!

Today, the importance of emotional eating behavior is increasing in eating behaviors and attempts to lose weight. According to the American Social Psychologist Schachter et al., since the physiological responses given in the event of negative emotions or stress are similar to the feeling of satiety after feeding, loss of appetite and decreased food intake in the face of negative emotions have been accepted as a natural physiological response. In addition, the increase in excessive eating behavior in situations of stress, anxiety, anger and sadness is called “emotional eating”. For this reason, the relationship between emotions and eating behavior is partially affected by personal characteristics. Researchers emphasize that sociocultural pressures are important as the cause of disorders in eating behaviors. So, what are these sociocultural pressures? People attempt to lose weight as a result of many misdirections, such as focusing on physical appearance in the female gender role, presenting the “ideal” appearance as excessive thinness, emphasizing the importance of physical appearance in social success, which we encounter quite often in our society. Such social judgments lead to feelings of inadequacy, discomfort with one’s own body, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. As a result, the incidence of emotional eating disorders is also increasing.

What emotions make us hungry? Which emotions turn off our appetite?

Eating behaviors, which are seen as a result of emotions such as anxiety, sadness, anger or hopelessness, are frequently encountered as a behavior to fill an emotional void, not hunger. Emotional eating behavior, which is one of the wrong coping strategies, can be seen at any time when the negative emotion in question arises. What we eat, when we eat, and how often we eat are related to our psychological needs. While the frequency of feelings such as boredom, depression, loneliness, and fatigue is associated with excessive food intake; There is less food intake during feelings of anger, fear, tension and pain. Researchers have examined the different effects of anger, fear, unhappiness and joy on eating behavior. In the results of the research, it was observed that hunger was felt at a higher level during anger and joy than fear and unhappiness. While there is an increase in impulsive eating, which is characterized by fast, irregular and sloppy eating in anger, there is an increase in hedonistic (hedonic) eating in the style of eating foods that are thought to be healthy or eating foods that are thought to be healthy during joy. Eating has an aspect that brings out positive emotions and makes you feel well, due to its pleasurable and rewarding features. For this reason, people develop eating behaviors in different ways in order to suppress negative emotions.

What should we do?

People who have started a diet or are considering changing their disordered eating behavior should first learn not to deceive themselves, to show resistance, and not to turn to eating in the face of negative emotions and pressures. What is important to be able to do these is to change the mindset at one point. You can control your emotional eating behavior by reassuring yourself, by finding convincing answers to mindsets such as “nothing will happen once”, “I deserve to eat this today”, etc. Controlled thinking styles such as “It’s okay, I’ll eat when it’s time to eat, I can wait” motivate the person, and they realize that they can keep their own body and emotions under control, and they can tend to deal with other things. Many situations in our lives can trigger thoughts of eating and there are effective psychotherapeutic techniques used to cope with or minimize them. Although it is not difficult to change the mindset, it is learnable, not temporary, on the contrary, a healthy soul is an important element for a healthy body. If you want to lose weight and cannot adapt to diets, it is possible to reach your goal with self-control technique and motivating and realistic answers you give when your soul is hungry.

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