Are You an Bad Habit Eater?
Check what kind of an eater you are in this quiz!
Uncontrolled Eating can be very well described via the following statements:
1. We eat to suppress our feelings of fear, guilt, resentment, worry, irritation etc.
2. We chose comfort food like cakes and biscuits and sweets because we felt we needed/deserved it and then feel guilty about it.
3. We eat badly to punish our bodies for some imagined failure in our lives.
This is a great moment to work through a simple quiz to determine whether you are in fact an emotional eater or someone who uses food to cope with the stresses of life.
Are You an Bad Habit Eater?
To find out if you’re an emotional eater, answer the following five questions.
The last time you ate too much:
1. When you needed to eat, did you feel a desperate and urgent need to eat something right away?
2. When you ate, did you enjoy the taste of every bite, or did you just stuff it in?
3. When you got hungry, did you need a certain type of food to satisfy yourself?
4. Did you feel guilty after you ate the same day or the next day?
5. Did you eat when you were emotionally upset or felt that you deserved‚ it?
Let’s see how you did…
1. Physical hunger begins slowly, then it becomes stronger and finally it evolves into hunger pangs, but it’s a slow process, very different from emotional hunger, which has a sense of urgency.
2. There is a major difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger and it involves a degree of awareness. To satisfy physical hunger you normally make a deliberate choice about what you eat and you maintain awareness whilst you’re eating. If you have emotional hunger, you won’t notice how much you are eating or the taste and you will still want more food even after you’re full.
3. Emotional hunger often demands very specific foods in order to be fulfilled. If you’re physically hungry, even a salad will look delicious. If you’re emotionally hungry, however, only your specific and possibly toxic choice will seem appealing.
4. Emotional eating often results in guilt. Physical hunger has no guilt attached to it because you know you ate in order to maintain energy.
5. Emotional hunger results from some emotional trigger. Physical hunger results from a biological need.
Did your answers to the five questions above reveal that you might be an emotional eater?
Did you discover that you’ve been confusing emotional hunger with real, biological hunger? If so, the first question becomes – why?
The best way to explain what’s going on is to consider that when you eat when you aren’t really hungry, it’s because you have two stomachs – one is real, the other imaginary. The hunger in your stomach is a signal to your brain that you need to re-fuel. It occurs when your system has a biological requirement for food. If that was the only signal of hunger you received, you’d be healthily slim. It’s the imaginary stomach that causes the problems. The imaginary stomach sends out a signal demanding food as a result of complex and possibly negative emotions and unsolved problems. This is the moment when your stress and personal issues begin to assert themselves and you feel compelled to eat. Or, more accurately, to stuff yourself and anaesthetise the feelings of discomfort. Imaginary hunger exerts such a powerful influence that it compels you to eat almost anything to satisfy it.
There are certainly moments when each of us doesn’t really know what to do with ourselves. It can happen after work, when we are alone, late at night or even over the weekend. Does that sound familiar or do you have other triggers that compel you to sidle over to the fridge? All emotional eaters have specific issues that they want to avoid and, when those issues arise, the imaginary tummy howls with insistent urgency and you suddenly find yourself possessed by an out of control urge to eat.
This knowledge can be immensely helpful in casting light on our deeper drives and behaviours. Releasing judgments about ourselves because we’ve been conditioned to see ourselves as failures is an important step in conquering our stubborn weight issues. Learn to understand why you’ve behaved the way you have in the past and resolve to introduce the changes that will put you back in control of your weight and your life.
There are two categories of influences that can trigger imaginary hunger. The first includes situations, places, or events. Perhaps you overeat when you have to attend professional or family functions. For some people, it’s funerals or restaurants or sports events. For others, it’s a boring day at work or the familiar need to release stress after work!
The second category of influences that can trigger imaginary hunger includes people. For you, it’s probably a specific person – your friend, boss, co-worker, parent, spouse, partner, sibling or child – who triggers you to overeat. They may trigger an eating response with a glance, a word, or even with their silence but, whatever it is, whenever you’re around them, you’re sure to overeat.
Here are typical situations where we may all are tempted to overeat:
‚ Stress at school, university or work
‚ Stress at home
‚ Fights with others
‚ Being judged by friends, family and even strangers
‚ Feelings of inadequacy
‚ Fear that you don’t measure up
‚ Too much to do
‚ Fear of failure
‚ Deadlines and pressure
‚ Promising too much
‚ Death, divorce, moving house
‚ Relationship issues
‚ Children’s needs
‚ Death of a family member, pet, friend
‚ Anger, fear, doubt
And the list includes many, many more items!
Forewarned is forearmed! As you begin to recognise the situations where over-eating is more likely to take place, you can prepare yourself in advance and avoid the triggers that might spark a bout of inappropriate chomping! What a fabulous habit to develop in the campaign for totally effective weight control.