Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness (without using food)
Regardless of our size or shape, food usually has emotional associations (1). The comfort of a cookie after a scraped knee, ice cream to celebrate your team’s win, Sunday night dinner at Grandma’s house. Food is comfort, love, reward and connection - but the problem starts when we regularly use food to cope with feelings.
There are four types of hunger:
- Emotional hunger: eating due to sadness, stress, anxiety, etc.
2. Physical hunger: when your body is hungry because it needs energy from food.
3. Taste hunger: when you crave a certain food just for the taste.
4. Practical hunger: when you’re eating for practical reasons. For example, you eat during your lunch break even though you’re not physically hungry because you won’t have another opportunity until much later and by then you’d be famished.
All of these forms of hunger are valid; and it is useful to know how to tell the difference between them.
This week stop and think about the type of hunger you are experiencing.
If it’s emotional hunger, see if you have other tools you can use to help work through your feelings. For example, if you are lonely, call a friend. Sometimes we may eat to ease the discomfort of emotional hunger but in the long run it won’t solve the problems. Eventually we will have to deal with our uncomfortable emotions.
For more information on this principle as well as helpful tips, check out the following blog post:
REMEMBER: We all eat for comfort from time to time – this is normal and does not make you a failure!
Check out the resources linked here, and get curious! This is a process and change doesn’t happen overnight.
BEFORE YOU GO: This program is not a replacement for eating disorder treatment. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, don't hesitate to reach out to our Dietitian (see below), or any other trusted health professional for support and guidance.
Connect with us!
UBCO’s Registered Dietitian is here to help!
And for nutrition tips, recipes, and more, visit the UBCO Food Services Nutrition Blog.