Eating is a pleasure, but many centuries ago, it was not the first reason why people fed themselves.
The first justification that led a person to eat food was survival.
But if we consider what we eat today, and we stop to think carefully about the answer, surely many reasons arise that take a person to a corner beyond being hungry.
One of those reasons has a very close relationship with emotions. Many people suffer from emotional hunger, a real eating disorder that uses food as a “solution” to deal with what they feel, especially when those feelings are uncomfortable.
That is, eating is used to manage negative emotions, but in a wrong way.
Let’s take an example: a person feels emotionally vulnerable and puts the focus on something external, in this case, food.
If you have a labor, family or couple conflict, if you feel frustrated, it does not occur to you to go for a run, but to go buy chocolate.
Emotional hunger is that feeling that makes people eat for no reason whatsoever. There is no real hunger, no reason to eat.
It is a state of “internal confusion”.
Why do we eat on impulse?
Boredom, loneliness, stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, depression or low self-esteem are some of the emotions and situations that most often lead a person as he or she impulsively and without looking at the consequences, shovels down food. However, it can also be said that the person associates comfort and pleasure with food. For example, you cannot stop buying popcorn when you go to the movies.
In addition to emotional mismanagement, this type of hunger is also common in people who have tried many diets experiencing failure before them or very self-demanding people with their way of eating that reaches a level of frustration. On the other hand, a bad routine also increases the chances of emotional hunger.
It is true that there is a momentary calm, but the problem is still there, and the physical and psychological consequences are greater.
Among the physical consequences, the most important are obesity, a risk factor for multiple diseases, such as cardiovascular and diabetes, among others, as well as the possibility of suffering from other eating disorders, such as a binge eating disorder, bulimia or anorexy.
How to know if it is an impulse?
Feeling hungry is not the same as being hungry.
If we go into more detail, there are other characteristics that can help distinguish it.
The urge to ear appears suddenly, unlike real hunger, which appears gradually.
It demands high caloric foods. The person is not going to eat 1 kg of broccoli, but she or he will probably eat 5 donuts.
With emotional hunger, we have cravings for specific food.
With real hunger, you feel good when you finish eating, but with emotional hunger, you feel guilt, shame and dissatisfaction.