We all enjoy good food, which is why so many gatherings or important moments in our lives food plays a vital role. Are you in a birthday bash? Roll in the cake. Did you have a sad breakup? Grab a pint of ice cream. Is it Christmas Eve? Here are the eggnog and mulled wine.
It’s easy to find comfort in food. But that dependence on food can quickly turn unhealthy if it becomes more of a regular crutch. 40% of people tend to eat more when they are stressed. That can often lead to overeating and even eating disorders if left to worsen. While there are weight loss doctors and clinics that specialize in curbing these habits, here are some indicators that your eating might need some rethinking.
- You automatically reach for food during an emotional incident.
As mentioned above, food is a source of comfort. But when you respond to any sort of situation (usually the stressful ones) with eating, it shows that you have an underlying dependence on food to satisfy you. Often, it’s more of a conditioned response than a conscious decision. That lack of actual intent and need to eat is what makes this worrisome. Over time, your mind and body could feel reliant on food to overcome circumstances that you otherwise could correctly handle alone.
- You eat when you’re bored.
Eating is a no-brainer when you’re looking for something to do. A recent study revealed that people are more likely to reach for something to munch on simply to break any feeling of monotony (which people can’t stand for even 15 minutes). But if you’re relying on food for entertainment, you may find yourself bingeing—and more likely, on snacks or junk food. Bored snacking or eating fosters an unideal relationship with food. That can easily lead to becoming overweight since most bored eaters prefer quick, ready-to-eat snacks like chips or candies.
Avoid this habit by finding other activities. If you’re feeling lazy and bored, and eating seems like the only thing you have the energy to do, try your hand at some painting, reading, or meditating. These are pretty laid-back activities that not only stimulate your mind but also keep you from reaching for all those empty calories.
- If you actively shun food
On the flip side, another way that you can be using food unhealthily is by avoiding it. People who feel like things are out of hand can start to see food as the only thing they can control. This path can lead to eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia. When you catch yourself seeing food as the enemy or as something that must be strictly monitored at the risk of your emotions, it may be time to reevaluate.
If you find that your approach to food and eating is more emotional than anything else, you may find some repressed feelings that mean it’s time for a lifestyle check, a visit to the therapist, or both. Fostering a holistically healthy outlook on food means every bite is a pure guilt-free pleasure.
Meta Title: Signs Your Relationship with Food Is Getting Unhealthy
Meta Description: It’s easy to find comfort in food. But that dependence on it can quickly turn unhealthy. Find out if food is becoming your emotional outlet.