How Do Your Emotions Affect Your Eating?

Eating too much or not enough could be a sign of a mental health issue

Emotions and eating are connected, just like emotions and other areas of your physical health. This can create problems for people who want to remain healthy even when they’re undergoing severe emotional stress. The more you learn about how emotions affect your eating, however, the better prepared you will be to face some of the struggles that occur with controlling your eating when you feel emotional.

Lack of nutrition

When you think about emotional eating, you probably think about eating too much. However, the Mayo Clinic states that some people actually eat less when they are faced with emotional troubles. Eating too little, however, can also lead to serious physical problems. Not getting enough nutrients in a day can lead to having too little energy and decreased well-being. It can also be responsible for fainting, dizziness, headaches and other problems that make getting through your day impossible. If your emotions are inhibiting your appetite, it’s time to see a doctor and/or therapist.

Weight gain

Eating too much is unhealthy eating that causes weight gain. Binging is one way people who are driven to eat by their emotions often answer this call. Binging occurs when you do too much eating as a result of your emotions. When you are angry, hurt or upset, you eat as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without discretion and without enjoyment. Binging starts an unhealthy eating practice that can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult for you to eat in a healthy way, one in which you eat small, healthy meals.

Repetitive behavior

According to the Mayo Clinic, emotional eating can become a pattern of destructive, unhealthy behavior. When you associate your emotions and eating, you may feel the desire to binge on a certain snack or on anything whenever you feel a certain negative emotion. This is dangerous to your health because it not only causes weight gain and poor nutrition, it is an addiction — something you feel unable to live without. The Mayo Clinic warns about the vicious cycle that occurs when people eat because of their emotions and then get emotional because of their eating or body image. In addition, a vicious cycle occurs when individuals feel worthless or unable to cope without their addiction. In this way, associating emotions and eating can impact both physical and psychological health.

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