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Why Do We Eat To Satisfy Our Emotions?

Why Do We Eat To Satisfy Our Emotions

Emotional eating has to do with a few different things. One, we might reach for those cookies because that’s what mom always did when things were going wrong. And two, at the point where we need an emotional release but can’t seem to get one in a timely fashion, our brain pipes up and says “Quick! I need a fix… how about a double chocolate hot fudge sundae with sprinkles and whipped cream?”

When We Eat To Fix Our Emotional State, It’s Typically About Strong Cravings

We really, really need that sugar rush. Or we know that some carb-rich comfort foods will send us over the edge into a near-catatonic state.

Maybe on a regular day, a plate of fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy would make us pleasantly full and a little drowsy. But if you’re in a situation that triggers you emotionally, your body may have gone into full-on fight or flight mode. Powerful hormones are being released to combat stress, which is related to the emotional upset that you’re currently dealing with. Cortisol and adrenalin flood the bloodstream. The nervous system responds, crying out for instant relief in the form of a carbohydrate-loaded treat.

Once you ingest the carb-rich or sugary snack or meal, here’s what happens next. The sugar enters your bloodstream and heads right to your brain, where you get to enjoy that burst of energy or elevated good feelings – the classic sugar rush. Meanwhile, your pancreas and liver are fighting to process this substance. Your body retains water to get the work done faster. Your kidneys are working overtime. The sugar rush levels off, then you drop into a post-treat coma, where your energy is now depleted, you’re foul-tempered, and you badly want to take a nap.

Now your brain says, “More! Give me more sugar!” And the cycle of sugar addiction continues.

Other Reasons Why We Eat To Deal With Our Emotions

✔️ The enjoyment of eating something we like helps us forget about our troubles for the time being.

✔️ The act of giving ourselves a special gift (a food treat) helps fill an emotional void that we may be experiencing.

✔️ Eating what we want, even if we know it might wreck our diet or not be that great for our health, feels like rebellion. Sometimes we get tired of following the rules and being good. Being a rebel is a bit of a rush.

Emotional eating is a light offense. Comparatively speaking, this seems like one of the least troublesome vices that a person can have. Making a pan of cookies is way more budget-friendly than retail therapy. Eating to satisfy emotions is much less complicated than, say, going into a rage. And emotional eating is way better than drowning our troubles in a handle of whisky or turning to street drugs as an escape. However, if you can fight it, why not?

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