How Emotions Shape Our Eating Behaviour

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Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?

If you do – I bet it’s because you want to feel better (to soothe yourself when you’re feeling angry, bored, anxious, etc.)

How we eat, what we eat and when we eat has a lot to do with our feelings. We all experience this over and over again, and there are also scientific reasons why we do it.

How Emotions Affect Eating Habits

Mood states such as anxiety and depression affect food choice and experts estimate that 80% of overeating is triggered  by our emotions, not physical hunger.

And studies say that 85% of women who comfort eat are trying to fill some sort a void , some sort of gap in their life and the first place they reach for is the fridge.

Do Emotions Cause Comfort Eating?

Emotional eating is defined as an increase in eating following negative emotion.

Simply put, emotions can play a huge role in terms of our eating habits.

When it comes to stress, overwhelm and anxiety, many busy women often respond to these emotions by eating “comfort’ foods to ease the emotional pain.

And that’s because they have learned to associate emotions with eating and tend to have a dysfunctional relationship with food.

Comfort eating might provide a temporary or short-term feeling of relief but in the long run lead to unresolved issues and negative health consequences.

Diet Rules

Women who display a higher tendency for comfort eating also tend to categorise food items into good or bad foods.

And tend to be burdened with generic “diet” thinking, guidelines and rules.

There are many dietary rules that can have a positive effect on health, but they tend to work better when they are adapted to the individual’s emotional life and take their feelings into account.

If the rules you set for yourself conflict with your feelings about eating, changing your eating habits will be very difficult and won’t in the long run.

I believe in setting rules that are realistic and aligned with the individual’s thoughts and feelings, rather than totally different rules that would be too hard to achieve.

For example, one of my favourite foods is ice-cream but I also know that I find it difficult to control my portions when it comes to eating ice-cream. So, if I want to lose weight my rule would be to have yoghurt with berries- I have better control eating this.

So how do we learn to trust our appetite and to enjoy our food more again?

 I recommend to start by rebuilding your trust with food and restore the trust between yourself and your body.

HOW to Repair Your Relationship with Food

  • How do I heal my relationship with food?

This is a question I often get asked…

Here are 4simple tips to help you repair your relationship with food and yourself.

1.Focus on Your Next Action

  • Stop punishing yourself for what you ate yesterday.
  • And think about how you can eat healthy at your next meal 
  • Dwelling on the past does not serve you or your body.

2.Enjoy Food:

  • Allow yourself to enjoy your food.
  • If negative thoughts like, “I should not be eating this” arise as you’re eating, allow them to pass without judgment.
  • Then, come back to gratitude.

3.Let Go of Perfection:

Perfect doesn’t exist so let it go and aim for what’s achievable.

It’s about what you do most of the time that makes the difference to your health.

  • Let go of the all-or-nothing thinking and the need to be perfect.
  • No one eats “perfectly” since perfect does not exist.

4.Conscious Eating.

A good place to start to restore the connection with food is to eat mindfully.

I believe that if you feel positive about food and connected to your meal when eating, then it’s more likely you’ll make better food choices most of the time and feel good about eating.

When you are eating observe, touch, taste, smell and sense the food as you’re eating it.

For example:

  • When you eat, sit down, eat slowly and chew your food to really taste it.
  • Trust your body appetite to guide you in relation to the hunger that you’re feeling.
  • Identify where the signal is coming from by asking yourself if the hunger is from your stomach or is it from your mind, because you’re stressed or tired.

Having a positive relationship with food will put you in the right mindset to kick comfort eating and lose weight.

And lastly having a healthy mindset around food works much better then dieting rules mentality.

Now I would love to hear from you…⁠ ⁠

  • Ready to Repair Your Relationship with Food?

For years I struggled with my relationship with food and myself… until I learned this one important secret that changed everything!

The key to sustainable change is through the mind.

Get access to a free, 60-minute training: “3 Steps to Becoming a Happy, Emotion-Free Eater”

Where I will reveal the very best of my insider’s secrets to supercharge your self-confidence and help you repair your relationship with food and yourself.

Will you join me?

Click here to sign now

Please comment below, I would love to hear your story.❤️❤️

Irena Geller

🍓Food & Mood 😃 Coach

BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Wellness Coach (Level 3))

I coach busy women to put down their fork and pick up their life.

If you want to eat well consistently and lose weight effortlessly book free 30-minute-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to add years to your life and live those years to the fullest, looking amazing and feeling confident!

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