Food is a necessity for our survival. This is a fact we all know. Some of us are food lovers, while the rest of us just eat because we have to. Most of us have been in a place when we find that we have finished a whole bag of chips while studying for a test, or ate every last cookie in the cookie jar while watching a movie. It happens to the best of us. However, there can be a tipping point when food is being used to satiate something other than hunger. There may be instances when we find ourselves turning to food to satisfy our inner feelings and emotions rather than filling our stomachs. This is what is known as emotional eating.
“It is very common to use food as a way to avoid emotional issues that we are dealing with internally. In this way, we’re using food as an escape”, says Sarah Hunt, a certified Holistic Nutritionist who specializes on the topic of emotional eating. “By doing this, we’re creating another problem so that we don’t have to deal with what’s going on. When this happens, it becomes a vicious cycle where we experience uncomfortable emotions, then overeat or eat when we’re not hungry. We then feel guilty and upset with ourselves”, she continues.
Using food as a reward or to celebrate isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. However, when you find that food is the first thing you turn to whenever you are upset, bored, angry, stressed, or lonely – when your primary emotional coping mechanism seems to be eating and it instantly makes you feel better—you then tend to get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.
Not many of us make the connection between eating and our feelings. But understanding what drives emotional eating can help people take steps to change it. “When we start to take an honest look at our food habits and our belief systems, it improves our connection to ourselves and also to the world around us. This leads to a more balanced and fulfilling life”, says Sarah Hunt.
Not realizing the problem, or not addressing it, will only make the cycle harder to get out of which is why if you feel that you succumb to emotional eating, it is important to take note and seek help as soon as possible. We, at Hissah Enrichment Center, realize that this is an issue that is best tackled as a group – so as to provide the support and understanding of others going through the same thing. This December, we will be having an interactive emotional eating workshop conducted by expert Sarah Hunt, which will cover all essential topics and address the fundamentals of this issue. This workshop is for anyone who feels they have an unhealthy relationship with food as it will help you listen to your body, understand which foods are good for you and which aren’t, identify your body’s hunger signals, truly learn to embrace your feelings and emotions, overcome your fear of food and body image, and much more.
Please have a look at our flyers for further information, as well as visit our website www.hissahec.com for registration details. We hope to see you there!