If you’ve ever binged on ice cream and chips after a stressful day or heart crushing break up, you know what I’m talking about
Emotional hunger can feel a lot like physical hunger.
The difference is emotional hunger comes on suddenly and feels endless, making it difficult to satisfy with physical food.
Life is stressful. Things get weird, emotions run high and low. Our body’s can’t properly digest food and assimilate nutrients if it’s on a constant emotional roller coaster.
Trying to fill an emotional void with physical food results in overeating, digestive upset and weight gain. Not to mention the mental exhaustion from the cycle of guilt and anxiety regarding your food cravings and choices.
Emotional hunger can be sparked from any number of scenarios, such as boredom, social influence (family or friend gatherings), or it could be a learned behavior from childhood (this is a big one—I’ll post about this topic separately).
WTF DO WE DO?
I’m glad you asked. Lets just break this down and shine light on the subject in a different way:
1. Chiggity check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Bring awareness to the behavior by being PRESENT in the moment. Taking deep breaths makes this easier.
Check in with your body. CONNECT with your body.
How are you feeling? What just recently happened to cause you to feel this way?
Check your emotions, stress level, and take notice of recent changes in your environment that could have created this type of response in your body.
Once you can recognize your emotions (stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, etc.), you will be able to make the distinction between PHYSICAL hunger and EMOTIONAL hunger in your body.You are in complete control of your emotions.
2. Deal with the emotion outside of the kitchen.
Dance it out, talk it out, walk it out. Write about it. Sing about it. If the source of this emotional response is something that can not be changed or fixed by you NOW, you can focus on finding a new outlet for dealing with this emotion like those listed above.
If the problem that invoked this emotional response occurs daily as part of your personal routine, you gotta nip it in the bud like YESTERDAY. This could be an imbalance in any area of your life, such as your relationships, career, education, health, joy or spirituality. When you can pinpoint what areas of your life need strengthening and balance, you can formulate an action plan of attack.
I love to help people form action plans to find more balance in life. For more information about working with me, email
3. Give yourself a break. Self Care Comes First!
Practicing self care allows you to recharge your mental batteries. You deserve time for yourself every day! Make it happen with:
Meditation, walks in nature, spa days, unwinding activities (away from the computer, television and phone), exercise, journaling, crafting, and any other activities that get more “zen” into your day.
Be gentle with yourself. Give your body and mind some time to adjust. There is no use in punishing yourself for giving into emotional eating. Use this opportunity to explore your body mechanics and check in to make sure you are living your life to the fullest.
Thanks for reading! Comment below if this hits any chords with you.
—–> Email me at Sam@nourishingnomswithsam.com to get deep and break the emotional eating cycle with support!