Emotional Hunger: Why People Eat Their Emotions

· July 6, 2018
If you're eating your emotions, you're probably overeating. Don't use food as an escape.

We don’t just eat food. Sometimes, we also eat our emotions. We ingest them in a compulsive way, in an outburst to express something that we have been repressing. This is called emotional hunger.

It’s a shame that from childhood, instead of teaching people to express what they feel, they are encouraged to keep it buried inside.

Read: Saying what you think has many benefits. 

So you stop crying, you’re ashamed to feel sadness, and you hold in your anger because you don’t know how to be assertive and say what you really feel.

Do you eat because you’re hungry or to satisfy emotions?

Emotional hunger

Emotional hungerSometimes, people consume their emotions when they go to the kitchen without being hungry and eat the first thing they find (most of the time, something very unhealthy).

It is a way to cover an emotional vacuum that lies in wait for them.

Instead of confronting it, they avoid it, doing what they unconsciously believe they have to do because they’re hungry when, in reality, that hunger is emotional.

Binge eating is a type of illness that affects many people who compulsively eat food until they can no longer eat. It’s not that they are hungry, nor that they can simply eat large quantities of food. Inside, they feel a deep sadness that they try to cover with excessive amounts of food.

Have you ever had a breakup and found yourself eating an entire container of ice cream? This image you see all the time in the movies also happens in real life.

The cause is anxiety. It’s the anxiety of having lost a partner and the fear of being alone, the anxiety of losing a job or a loved one …

You have lost something, emptiness has taken hold of you and the (wrong) way to solve this is to eat, even without really being hungry.

In what ways do people eat their emotions?

Read also: The 9 habits that cause anxiety

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorderIf you want to identify the type of emotion that is stalking you and won’t let you release it in the right way, you have to look at how you’re eating. 

  • Stress: You eat very fast, without tasting your food.
  • Fear: The kitchen and food become your “refuge”.
  • Guilt: You eat more than you need and, as a consequence, you gain weight.
  • Sadness: You always go for something sweet or “junk food”.
  • Emptiness: You eat compulsively to feel pleasure and feel satisfied.

Have you managed to identify the way you eat? You have to be very honest with yourself. This is the best way to truly determine what’s happening and how to treat it.

Let’s not forget that food is an escape. Through it, you try to deal with emotions that struggle to get out and be resolved.

Why do you want to feel guilty? What makes you so afraid? Why are you feeling empty? The answer to these questions will be the key to releasing all those emotions.

When you eat your emotions, you seek a balm for your pain, but you’re doing much more harm by eating unhealthy foods in large amounts without really being hungry.

You’re not taking care of yourself

When you eat your emotions, you’re repressing them. It might be because you don’t know how to express them, because you’re afraid to do it or because you’re hiding them.

The important thing is to begin to be aware that you are taking refuge in food to avoid managing an emotion that’s inside you. Remember: no matter how much you avoid it, it will remain there.

You shouldn’t bottle anything inside.

Maybe you should look at your childhood to discover some wound that has made you feel guilty or harbor a sadness because you’re ashamed to express it and accept it. It’s important to learn to see yourself clearly and analyze what you feel in order to manage your emotions in a much healthier way.

Do I feel angry? Do I feel guilty? Well, let yourself express it, let it come out in an appropriate way without harming anyone.

Emotions come, but then they leave. If they didn’t do this, when they persist, they can become unhealthy. That’s when you eat your emotions.