Why We Eat and Our Emotions
aware of 90% of those decisions (The Science of People).
Although, one of the most important reasons we eat is because it is a basic necessity for human survival. Outside of air and water, food is
the only other thing required for human life. Food provides us with important nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fat, carbohydrates, fiber and
protein. These nutrients are then utilized by the body to build tissues and organs. So, one reason we may eat is to fuel the tank. If the tank isn’t
filled, we can’t go. However, most of the time we are eating for reasons other than to fuel the tank.
Other reasons we may eat could be dictated by our social context (read more).
We are likely to adopt eating patterns similar to those we spend the most time with. This explains why college students have similar eating
patterns or if someone is a grazer their significant other may be as well. Yet in a similar sense behavior change will be most successful when
supported by your social circle. (Mayo Clinic Research and Clinical Work )
comfort or reward — caused by emotional hunger. Emotional hunger occurs when we use food to make ourselves feel better. For example, a crying baby
is often comforted by its mom and warm milk. The idea that food will alleviate problems is impressed upon us from the day we are born. While sometimes
this is okay when we rely on food as a coping mechanism the cause of the emotions is not necessarily addressed and it can become reoccurring. Have
you ever wondered if you are an emotional eater?
to identify the trigger. Some commons triggers include stress, boredom or feelings of emptiness, childhood habits, or even social influences. Once
you are able to identify the trigger then either on your own or with the help of a professional (a registered dietitian or therapist) then you can
learn and practice other coping mechanisms that do not rely on food to manage your emotions. Learn more at Emotional Eating vs. Mindful Eating.