“Some of the life’s biggest problems are often solved at the dinner table”.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to Google it to know who said that—we totally made up it up. But we’re sure you’ll agree that some of the life’s most annoying problems find a timely end with the first morsel of a delicious meal.
By the time you’re on your second helping, you’ve already forgotten why you were upset in the beginning. Tough day at school? Hard time in college? There’s nothing that a bite of comfort food can’t solve. But too often the second helping becomes a third and a fourth. And comfort food becomes a little too close for comfort.
Welcome to the vicious cycle of ‘Emotional Eating’. Unlike the quote, we didn’t make this one up—science backs this too. It starts with a small packet of chips and before you know it, you are elbow deep in a bucket of fried chicken without having the appetite for it.
But as with all things, there is good news & bad news. Bad news first: the symptoms are very difficult to identify. It usually starts with an occasional binge eat after an emotional event like a bad result or a tiff with a loved one. However, the relief following the binge doesn’t last long. What does last are the after-effects of guilt, self-loathing or even physiological troubles? If not combated, it can turn into an eating disorder.
The good news? We’ve compiled a list of pointers that can come to your rescue. It’s time to beat back emotional eating:
‘A’ For Awareness
The first solution to any problem in the world is to identify it, be aware of it, and accept it as it comes. The same goes for emotional eating. The moment you are aware that something is wrong, you can devote all your resources and attention in finding a solution to it. Though difficult to identify, try monitoring the frequency of your emotional eating episodes in the last one month. It will help you introspect.
Acceptance Is The Key
It is okay to be sad over a fight with a friend or be disappointed with your performance in college. Cry your heart out or yell at the top of your lungs and you will feel better. Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Some Binges Can Be Nutritious
Yes, sometimes, your absolute love for food might make you surrender to the pleasure principle. But guess what, you can balance the pleasure principle with the reality principle. Stuff your refrigerator with dry fruits, yogurt, and fresh fruits. With such a healthy pantry, eat your heart out without the worry of psychological or physiological ill effects! But don’t make this a regular affair.
What are friends for if not the support they extend during hardships? Catch up with a friend and bombard him/her with your rants and thoughts. Chances are, your friend will know exactly how to make you feel better. And, it will also strengthen your friendship.
Follow Your Passions
Read a book, go for a jog, plug in your favourite music or play with your dog! Chasing your passion works as a therapy that no professional can guarantee. You and your passion are all the therapy you ever need to restore balance to your life. Be the captain of your own ship.
If this article helped you out in any way, we’d love to know! Go ahead and tell us in the comments below. And as a bonus here’s a fantastic set of quotes that will inspire you to go further, every day!