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Emotions and Weight Loss

Updated on January 10, 2013
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The bond between Food and Mood

It's common knowledge that food and mood are tied together - so Emotions and Weight Loss are bound together. There are lots of stories out there of how someone was overweight before going to the therapist and finding out their real problem - only then could they tackle the problem.

Another empiric knowledge is that emotional hunger will try hard to hinder your weight loss efforts and stop you on your tracks - So, what causes this emotional hunger? How can you prevent it? Is this bond between feelings and food really that common? If so, how to detect it?

These are some of the topics I'll approach in this hub and hopefully you will leave the monitor better informed and prepared to deal with it.

What triggers the Emotional Hunger?

Each person has its own reasons and emotional causes for overeating, but some of the triggers are common and show themselves as the most frequent and common motives people tend to overeat. These are:

- Unemployment: People standing around the house are prone to go to the fridge more than people who are actively engaged with activities. Beyond this, unemployment brings a void into your life that you are going to fill.... with food.

-Work Stress, Financial Problems and Relationship Conflicts - These motives create a bad aura of feelings around anyone, but those prone to overeating will tend to compensate this fact by distracting themselves... with food.

Why? Because food serves as a distraction - It's easier for your subconscient to get entangled with eating and tasting rather than dealing with hard situations. It all spins around in a circle - Bad feelings leads to overeating, overeating leads to more bad feelings.

Your body is making you turn your attention away from problems that are consuming you and you aren't noticing that. Deal with those problems and you will have an easier path to weight loss.

What do you think?

Is there a connection between emotions and weight?

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Emotional Overeating Reasons

There are several occasions that motivate emotional overeating. We can nominate the following:

- Social Occasions: A person may overeat because others are encouraging them to taste this and that. They may eat to fit in or just to try to be discrete.

- Situation Occasions: Going to the movies, to a sports event, passing a bakery, all these are encouraging overeating - you really didn't need those popcorns, those hot dogs, that freshly baked cake.

- Physiological Occasions: Like rises in the Leptin Hormone, which increases appetite, and hunger from skipping meals.

Why is it so difficult to maintain weight after loosing it?

The reason for this is that humans are programmed to store fat - in the ancient times we needed it because food was scarce - and when you loose weight, your body thinks its a bad thing and starts to compensate.

Hormone level changes gets you emotionally more responsive to food and a modified brain pattern changes the mechanism responsible for restraint.

The body adapts to conserve energy by lowering the metabolism and leptin surges in quantity - its the hormone that makes you search food.

So, you got to have lots of willpower to counter what your body wants, but it will all fall into place with time and with an healthy lifestyle - your body will slowly adapt to its new fat levels and face them as the "guideline" levels.

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Stopping Overeating

Try to stay busy at all times and to be active both physically and socially. Do your chores, practice sports, go hang out with friends, take a bubble bath...

It would be a good idea to join a Yoga class too, it can help not only by relaxing your body but also by hastening your metabolism and counter those body induced "sos" effects.

I'll end this hub with a quote:

"Everyone says that emotional eating hinders weight loss, but nobody believes it"

Test: What is your outlook on this subject?


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    • Rui Carreira profile image
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      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      I overeat... but I'm one of those guys that can afford it (I don't gain weight) :p

    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      This is so true. We all have emotional reasons that we overeat. My reason is more of a "happy" one in that food has always been part of a family celebration so to me it signifies comfort and togetherness. But it's still an emotional response to food. Great hub!