Eating for anxiety, why do we do it?

Confusing emotions with food is something very common and that many times you are not even aware of it. Surely you have found yourself at home for a few days, relaxing on the sofa, doing nothing and, suddenly, without really knowing how you looked, opening the fridge over and over again, looking for something without knowing what you want or perhaps trying to find some very specific food. You probably do it out of boredom or worry, but maybe you don’t know the real reason you eat. The situation is not a major problem if it happens from time to time, but it is when everything that happens in life relies on food.

Eating for anxiety, why do we do it?

Most people with problems in their relationship with food generally comment that they feel a lot of anxiety about eating, but what is this anxiety? You cannot put into words what is really happening, sometimes you can only generalize and say that you are anxious, but it is difficult for you to put a name and surname to that emotion, to what is happening to you internally (fears, sadness, anger, frustrations, too much demand). Many times you find yourself rummaging through the fridge, alone and not hungry, feeling guilt and shame at the same time, out of control, and you can’t stop, despite feeling full and with abdominal pain.

In general, food seeks to cover more strongly what you feel and there are moments that it helps you to anesthetize that emotion. Surely you have decided on many occasions to find a solution, so you commit to doing something for yourself. Generally you start with a lot of enthusiasm, with a very demanding goal, strict diet and exercise, and that is your first punishment. After a short time, either because you feel better or you manage to lose the desired weight, or simply because you are tired, you resume your second punishment, leaving everything to fall back into that bad relationship you have with food, and you meet again with those uncontrolled excesses.

How can I improve my relationship with food?

The first thing you have to know is that there is nothing magical; Perhaps you could start by getting to know yourself a little more, being aware of your relationship with food, being aware of what you eat and why you eat it. Self-knowledge to find the cause of that emotional eating is a job that takes time, perhaps months, and in some cases even years. We recommend that you seek professional help to guide you through this process. A therapist is essential, as is a nutrition professional, but you can also look for other types of complementary therapies that can help you in the process, such as meditation, yoga, or acupuncture, among others. Look for something that identifies you and undertake that subject that you still have pending, which is being able to eat, but being you the one who controls the food and not the other way around.

Nutritional recommendations that you can implement:

  • An eating plan without restrictions.
  • Regulate an eating pattern.
  • Enjoy the pleasure of food and learn to manage it without excesses.
  • Ideas to work uncontrolled excesses (binge).
  • Incorporate real nutritional activities.
  • Work expectations with weight and body image.

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