Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's wrong with emotional eating?

I want to change something about me but I don’t know how. I have really severe mood swings…and I don’t want to anymore. They dictate my life and mood and sometimes relationships. I don’t like feeling crazy and I don’t like feeling out of control. I just need a plan.

Anyway, here is how I did yesterday:
Burned 2628 calories
Consumed 1070 calories
Deficit of 1558 calories

I ate poorly. I ate poorly and not enough good stuff. The most I ate yesterday was a bowl of spaghetti (a too-big bowl) with cheese all over it. I was just feeling lazy, and afterwards I felt SO gross!! Today I am back on track though.

Beyond needing a new plan for self improvement, I have a question to pose to all of you. A lot of us struggle with emotional eating. The question I have is, what is it about emotional eating that is bad?

Let me clarify. I’m having an off day. I was an hour late to work this morning and I’m just feeling the general blahs after my severe downward mood swing this morning. I was craving, craving something sweet this morning. To my delight, there were white nectarines for us today. Now, food wise I was not hungry, in fact I had already eaten breakfast. But I scarfed that nectarine so fast it was like an alcoholic taking a shot. It was definitely emotional eating. It was healthy though, and it was 67 calories.

I feel guilty. Is the problem with emotional eating just that it so often leads us to finish the bag of Cheetos or that second slice of cheesecake? Is it ok to emotionally eat good-for-you things? Or is it a problem that needs to be resolved and shouldn’t happen no matter what the repercussions are?

Quite a few of you know about me that I majored in philosophy in college. I love to think and overthink and analyze everything. This is going to be something that bugs me all day and I am wondering what you all think about emotional eating. Should I be feeling guilty? Trying to change? Or should I just shut up and be happy that I didn’t reach for a candy bar??


Anonymous said...

Well, with anything, I would say to look at it objectively - yes, you "emotionally ate", but look at what you chose! Would you have chosen this before becoming aware of healthier eating? If not, hey VICTORY! :)

I'm of the mindset that sometimes listening to your body and giving it just what it's craving is one of the best things you can do for it.

Go you!

Jess @ THIR said...

Leaving things to our emotions, in my opinion, is never healthy.
Let's look at other ways, you've already used the alcoholic metaphor. They drink to cause a change in brain chemistry to make them forget their problems.
The smoker does the same thing. Changes their brain chemistry.

Emotional eating takes the same stance, whether we are eating the piece of fruit, of the chocolate cheesecake. We are using that food as a crutch, as a tool, to change our brain chemistry.
Certainly, most of the time, the body or mind is calling for that item, and that's what we associated with the given change in chemistry.
Why do we never crave an apple, but jelly lollies?
Why do we crave chocolate and not peanuts?

Our bodies tell us that they want something, and so the brain associates that need with something we have filled the need with in the past. Most likely, for people like you and I, something not too good for us.

These days, I can read my body's signals a little better, and try not to let circumstances dictate what I put in my mouth.
In my mind, it's just another form of addiction, and a form of weakness (not trying to upset anyone, just on a roll).

I gave up caffiene after my first job, becuase it was defining me, changing me for the worst.
I gave up drinking not long after that, because I didn't like what the alcohol did to me.
I've recently given up smoking to deal with a stressful situation.
I've not got a lot left to give up, as my eating is pretty much on track!!

Point is, (sorry for the novel) you can also have too much of a good thing. Exercis addiction is an example.

I am an engineer, but I am planning on doing a psyche major once I am done with my masters... Not even I would have picked it, but I love this kinda stuff!!

<3 Jess @ THIR

Anonymous said...

For me, emotional eating is a very bad thing, because once I start, I can't stop. And it doesn't matter if I reach for healthier food choices because too much of a good thing can still be bad for you. Now when I feel it coming on, I try to stear my mind toward something else, or at least get out of the house awhile, and away from the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I was blog hopping the other day and I can't recall which blog had this, but she had made a "stress free to-do list" Things she could do instead of eating. I agree with the comments above that emotional eating junk food or healthy food isn't good. I tend to be an emotional eater also and am working to overcome this.

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