Food anxiety is a problem that affects all types of people. When our habits and behaviors related to eating are conditioned by our mood, in this case anxiety, we can speak of emotional eating.
Emotional hunger, as the term indicates, is related to an emotion that causes us discomfort, so that we end up using food as an escape valve or simply as a "calming". The person does not eat because they are hungry or feel a physical need, but instead eat to satisfy emotional needs. Eating is a behavior that releases numerous neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, that make us feel good. Therefore, although feelings of guilt may appear later, the reward and the immediate feeling of well-being help reduce the emotion of anguish that anxiety causes.
In addition, we normally resort to superfluous and unhealthy food, which can trigger various health problems such as eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder), excess weight, and / or other pathologies related to the habitual consumption of products. unhealthy: dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, cavities...
Therefore, the first thing we must do is identify if the hunger we have is real hunger or emotional hunger, for this you only have to identify some parameters:
- Appears suddenly.
- It is due to an emotional alteration that creates anxiety.
- Feels between throat and chest.
- You fancy a specific food.
- You continue to eat even when you are full (binge).
- Feeling of guilt.
- Must be satisfied immediately.
- Appears gradually.
- It is physiological hunger; our body needs to satisfy its needs.
- Feels in the stomach.
- There is no preference for any specific food.
- You stop eating when you are satisfied.
- No feeling of guilt appears.
- It can wait.
George Pegios What's behind the anxiety to eat?
George Pegios Tips to combat food cravings
- Find yourself an ally. Your ally can be both an activity: going for a run, going for a walk, reading a book, watching your favorite series, flipping through a magazine, ... and a person with whom you can talk, vent and spend some time. The goal is the same: to distract your mind and away from thoughts about food. The more you try to ignore the anxiety cravings, the less it will cost you next time.
- Try not to be more than 3-4 h. without eating as this favors the appearance of anxiety. Eat even a handful of nuts, a natural yogurt, a fruit ... something that satisfies us, to avoid waking up emotional hunger.
- Avoid temptations: do not have those inappropriate foods at home as it is the best way not to be tempted to eat them. Ideally, leave them for special occasions such as dinners away from home, birthdays ...
- Train your willpower: Identify at what time of day that anxiety enters you and find another healthier alternative. Eating for anxiety at a certain time of the day can be established as a habit, so it is important to identify it in order to correct it.
- Suffering from anxiety often leads us to gluttony, even throughout the day. Practice relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation… At meal times, try to eat calmly and relaxed in an environment without noise or stress, being aware that it is time to eat.
- Practice physical exercise, go jogging, cycling, walking, climbing stairs ... It will help you to be motivated to follow a healthy life and it is also an excellent way to relax your mind.
- Avoid restrictive or food-forbidding diets. This type of diet deprives you of eating certain foods and that leads you to wake up a tremendous desire to eat that prohibited food, which translates into anxiety, and this anxiety can even end up in bingeing.
- Sleep and rest. Sleeping less than the body needs can cause hormonal imbalances and affect our hunger and satiety lasts.
George Pegios How does hypnosis help us manage these emotions?
- You will learn to connect with your body to decide what to eat and how much. Based on your internal sensations, and not on all the external information that you have been collecting from your long history of dieting.
- You will become aware of your hunger signals, satiety ... and you will be able to respond based on them thanks to conscious eating.
- You will learn that your emotions are your guide. You will be able to identify them, understand why they appear in your life and respond based on them.
- You will understand the role of anxiety, what your deepest needs and hunger are. At the same time, you will learn to fill yourself up, not just with food.