Have you ever eaten a big meal and still felt an urge for more food?
Have you ever consider emotional cravings maybe part of your life?
Have you ever kept eating when you know you’re not hungry?
Maybe you know or maybe you don’t, but there is this “hunger” that’s deep within. A hunger that you just can’t get rid of. Maybe the first thing that your soul does when it needs some filling…you crave food. These are classic telltale signs that you are emotionally eating.
I hear this story from many of my free and private community and the many people I talk with at events. Particularly women saying that they’re “emotional eaters” but they don’t know what to do about it. I know overcoming any obstacle requires our attention first. Then the knowledge behind why we do what we do (aka: A Knowing).
How can you tell the difference between emotional eating, or eating to satisfy a genuine physical hunger?
Emotional cravings- the 5 cardinal signs
1. You need to eat a very specific food
When something comes up in your life that causes uncertainty, fear, or lack of control, we often turn to food to help ground us and to feel comfortable. We turn to very specific foods on an individual basis that will bring comfort to us knowing we can be certain in one thing when all else seems out of our control.
2. You keep eating after you’ve eaten a meal
When we emotionally eat, we are often using food as a placeholder for something else in our lives. Whether we are lonely, disconnected spiritually, or searching for purpose in life, food can temporarily take the place of what’s missing. If you feel like you can never get full from a meal, you may be using food to fill up the areas in your life that need filling with something greater.
Update: This post was so popular that I created a free Quiz – Is it you or your diet? CLICK HERE
3. You eat fast
When we emotionally eat, we will often take our attention off the eating process and “numb out” during our meal. It’s uncomfortable for us to address certain stressors in our lives so the body turns to a very easy and comforting distraction…food. With turning to food for a distraction, the last thing the mind wants to do is pay attention to the very thing that is helping take our minds off that stress.
4. You eat immediately after an emotional event
If the first thing you want to do is eat after you’ve gone through an emotional event chance are you’re emotionally eating. Whether you’re celebrating a promotion, or grieving the loss of a loved one, the body will try to come back down to earth by turning to food. Food literally grounds us when we experience intense emotions.
5. You feel guilty about eating
After we emotionally eat, both the brain and the body are aware of what just happened, even if you don’t know what the trigger was. Feeling guilt or shame after you’ve eaten a meal is a red flag that you’re emotionally eating.
Please note that emotional eating is very common and is a collective issue. Seeking greater meaning in why you turn to food is the first step in channeling the energy that comes with emotional eating. Moving into other areas of life that may be lacking will be the next step.
The solution to emotional cravings
Do you want to take the next steps in your journey to eliminate emotional cravings?
Share your thoughts: Have you ever experience emotional eating? What are your cravings covering up?