People respond in different ways when they're feeling emotional. Sometimes they lash out, other times they turn to smoking or drinking. However, for many of them, comfort is found at the bottom of a chocolate bar or tub of ice cream. It’s not ideal, especially if they regularly get stressed out or emotional, because all that food can lead to weight gain and health problems. How do you know if you’re doing it though? The signs aren’t always obvious but they are there, and it might be wise to notice them before it’s too late.
You crave the same things
The main reason people eat when they’re stressed out is that they find the food comforting. It’s familiar and reassuring, helping them to calm down and feel better about themselves when everything else is working against them. Although many foods fill this void, there’s usually one in particular that comfort eaters turn to for salvation.
If you find you’re regularly eating the same things when emotional, this could be why. Those sudden cravings might be a sign you’re a secret comfort eater looking for a pick-me-up.
You want food regardless of hunger
One of the problems with comfort eating is that cravings come on regardless of whether or not you’ve just had food. You could have eaten a three-course meal, but then the stress hits you, and you find yourself hungrier than ever. Food is just always on your mind, and the prospect of getting to eat is enough to help you relax.
You’re supposed to feel satisfied after a meal, but that rarely ever happens for those who indulge in comfort eating. That fulfillment is only there for a short time before it disappears again, requiring more food to fill the void.
You feel guilty about eating
Surviving without food is impossible. If you don’t eat enough on a regular basis, you’ll eventually run out of energy and expire. With that in mind, food is never something you should feel guilty about. However, people who partake in comfort eating often have those exact feelings whenever they give in to their stress cravings.
The shame generally comes from an unconscious awareness that you were eating for a reason other than to satisfy your appetite. You might not realize that’s why, but deep down you know you didn’t need that food like you thought you did.
You eat when you’re stressed
It might sound obvious, but it’s a sure sign that you’re comfort eating when you indulge in food right after a stressful situation. If eating is the first thing you do when you want to calm down, it should be evident that you’re using food as a way to cope with emotional upheaval. Luckily, having such a clear sign means it's easy to know when you need to change your ways.
Comfort eating is something that many people do when they’re stressed, and it’s not the end of the world. However, if you don’t want to pile on the pounds, it’s best to notice the symptoms now so you can find a way to deal with your stress properly.