Causes of Overeating
- Stuffing Emotions
Sometimes when we’re stressed or sad, we eat to stuff our emotions down. We try to quiet uncomfortable emotions with food. Food can take the focus off of anger, pain, fear, anxiety, and a host of other emotions we’d sometimes rather not feel–but the distraction is only temporary and brings with it the inevitable guilt that comes with overeating.
- Childhood Habits
Many of us have comforting childhood memories that revolve around food. Whether your parents used to comfort you with an ice cream cone, or make your favorite meal to help ease the pain of a breakup, or take you out to eat as a reward for good grades, you’d probably be in the vast minority if you didn’t develop some emotionally-based attachments to food while growing up. When in times of stress, few things can be as powerfully comforting or rewarding as your favorite food.
- Nervous Energy
When stressed or anxious, many of us become “orally fidgety.” Often, out of nervousness or boredom, we will just munch on chips or drink soda to give our mouths something to do.
Healthier Ways to Cope
- Talk to a Friend
Social support can go a long way toward helping you process your feelings, gain support, and move on. (Just don’t meet your friend at The Cheesecake Factory!)
- Try Journaling
Processing one’s feelings in a journal has been found to have many health benefits beyond mere stress management. When you feel like reaching for unhealthy food, reach for a pen instead.
Getting your body moving is a great way to blow off steam and to get your endorphins going. Come take a class at Lucille Roberts and burn off all that nervous energy! (Not a member of our gyms? Try us out for free!)
By Ilise Weinberg, Manager at Lucille Roberts Flushing