Minnesota Women's Press | St. Paul, MN


DakotaJazz.TopBanner.1-2017

home : readerswrite : yourstory October 17, 2017

Emotional hunger
I thought emotional eating only occurred when I was sad or bored, but I also ate when I was content or happy. As African Americans, we tend to celebrate everything with food.
- Latrice Marie Winston

by Latrice Marie Winston


One day I looked in the mirror and I just did not see all the changes I had been working so hard for. What I failed to realize was that, even though my eating patterns had improved, I was an emotional eater.

Many of us struggle with the challenges of emotional eating - eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms of hunger initiating the eating, emotions trigger the eating. We often associate emotional eating with depression, and then the customary stuffing of our faces to fill that void. I've been there too, but it's bigger than that.

Like many, I thought emotional eating only occurred when I was sad or bored, but I also ate when I was content or happy. As African Americans, we tend to celebrate everything with food. When my fiancé was accepted to an MBA program, I cooked him desserts; it felt natural.

After looking in that mirror and realizing my relationship to food, I began to keep a food journal. I noticed that during my busiest days I wasn't quite eating enough, and on slack days I was eating too much.

While keeping my journal, I was forced to think about everything I was putting in my mouth. Over time I was able to determine the differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger:
1) Emotional hunger occurs suddenly, and physical hunger occurs gradually.
2) Eating to fill a void with requests for specific food is emotional eating. When you're physically hungry, you are far less choosy, and you will stop eating because your stomach feels full.
3) Emotional eating tends to be instantly satisfied.
4) Emotional hunger provokes guilt, while physical hunger doesn't. When upset, I desperately wanted something sweet, like doughnuts or ice cream. After eating them, I felt bloated and guilty.

ShoeDreams.4-2017.InContent Banner



Once I became aware of my emotional state, my physical actions changed for the better. Here are a few tips to help you deal with emotional eating.
• Use a journal to help recognize emotional eating, and learn the triggers within yourself. Tracking your food intake will force you to become more self-aware.
• Make a list of things to do when you get the urge to eat and you're not hungry. Carry it with you. Work through your emotions without food.
• Stay productive. When you get bored, those cravings tend to sneak in. Warning: When you're tired, you may want to eat to keep yourself awake or busy. If you're able, take a nap or recognize the craving. Your body is telling you it needs rest, not more food!
• Lastly, when it comes to comfort foods, we may experience anxiety that may lead to emotional eating. To help with this, allow yourself some of the foods that you love, because this isn't a diet - it's a new way of eating.

Latrice Marie Winston lives in Brooklyn Park, and blogs at latricemarie.blogspot.com

Got a story?
We'd like to hear it. For writer's guidelines, go to www.womenspress.com. Email your 450-word personal essay to editor@womenspress.com





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   



Advanced Search





HueloellerGontarek.halfpg.7-2017

<October>
SMTWTFS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Dakota Jazz Club.ROSBanner 1-2017

Home | Features | Commentary | ReadersWrite | e-Edition | Get A Copy | Calendar | Classifieds | Advertise | Women's Directory | BookWomen | Extras | Life
Minnesota Women's Press, Inc., 651-646-3968
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2017
1up!

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved