June 14, 2015

Why Emotional Eating?

Perhaps you have heard it said before “…it’s not good to be an emotional-eater”, but is that really possible?

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After all, is not our stomach connected to our brain? It seems anything we do in regard to food can be connected to our emotions. Take this cake shown above. AFG client, Brittany Dawn Kennada (Miss Arizona – USA 2011) and model Jordan Keali are both portraying what we all might feel after a tough or emotional day.

That’s it! I’m having cake and nothing is going to stop me! Out of my way. Call it comfort food, I have had a bad day, followed by “…oh, why did I do that?” This might be the genesis of why emotional eating is bad. But, perhaps the cake is not so bad if kept in proper balance and perspective.

You see the cake is only harmful if you let it be – think volume!

Maybe we can use the cake as an emotional aid? Is it really that bad? Well, it’s cake right, it has to be bad! The fact is, cake is really quite harmless if it is only for a day / slice (yes- even large). Even the fitness fanatic you know has a “cheat day”! So, maybe it’s not so bad? Let’s take a closer look at balance.

A large slice of cake is not significantly detrimental if combined with a healthy diet and exercise. However if the cake leads to more cake, followed by pizza and ice cream and then a week of…”oh well, I have fallen”, then maybe you get the idea? Too often this is the result, but does it have to be? Are you overcome by “cravings”?

If cake can be taken in balance then it might be an effective tool to satisfy our need for comfort. After all, are we not human beings with emotions, tastes and desires? Again, it has to be in balance. Cake or what ever your pleasure, can actually have it’s benefits if we eat it for an occasion (birthday) emotional moment (bad day), unless we allow it to eat us…day after day. So, it’s ok, just as long as you make some healthy deposits to adjust proper body chemistry to go along with the indulgence. Then, you won’t have the cravings!

Some might say, once I start eating for emotional comfort, I just can’t stop. If you are making other healthy nutritional and physical deposits then your body will have good chemistry and thus provide the much needed mental and physical fortitude to avoid over indulgence. Your blood sugar will be more stable and you simply won’t be as hungry for the cake (that you NEED) if you are eating correctly. This balance will significantly help to not allow the cake to eat you.

TIP – Be sure the cake is not all you are eating, otherwise you might be putting your body in a poor blood sugar spiral. Here the carbs will beget more carbs!

So what about those healthy deposits… Can this be another form of emotional eating? You know the kind of eating that’s healthy? “oh ya, that’s only for when I am feeling encouraged and on my game, right?” Indeed, we can be emotional eaters when we are health minded as well. You see, when we eat healthy we are caring for ourselves. This may sound rather simplistic, but it is often a disconnect when we go about our day. It is quite possible in our society to forget about ourselves. We get caught up in what a commercial might say or where a friend wants to go for lunch, but what about our needs, health and our emotions?

Step outside of yourself and see you as a five year old…How is this child being cared for? Is not this child innocent and perhaps ignorant to the world ahead? If you have any good feelings, you will feel a desire to care for this child /you. See the child as yourself, you there, when you were five. Now fast forward to today. How is this child being cared for? Is he or she getting the proper nutrition? Is the adult /child’s emotional eating in balance? Or is it eating them; poor energy or over weight? How about green phyto-nutrients (organic greens)…is the kid getting those? And, what about deep red bioflavonoids (red bell peppers)? Are they present? Is the child being cared for (by you)? You see eating healthy can be emotional too!

In short, we are all emotional eaters. However, people tend to place emotional eating in a category of bad and out of balance. We live in a world of diet “on” and diet “off”. Everyone should endeavor to find the balance of both emotional well-being and good physical nutrition. Somewhere, there is a child who needs to be cared for in both physical health and psychological emotion!