Many of us tend to find ourselves eating for emotional reasons, such as sadness, stress, anger, etc. It is fair to say that emotional eating can very likely lead to obesity, but the reasons that lead to emotional eating are not so clear.
To gain a better understanding of when this relationship with food begins, a group of Norwegian researchers conducted a study with several parents. These parents were asked to rate how often they found themselves using certain feeding practices with their younger children (for example, giving their child something to eat that would help to make them feel better when they were unhappy). The researchers then compared these ratings to the eating habits of their children as they grew older, such as do they turn to food more often when they are sad.
As found in the study, published in the April 2017 edition of Child Development, the researchers found these emotional feeding practices of parents, showed a high level of emotional eating in their children as they grew older.
While emotional feeding is a common and almost easy path to help our children through sad and difficult times, with a concentrated effort, this cycle can be broken. We need to look for alternate ways of teaching our children how to cope with these feelings and emotions. Some ideas that have been found as effective methods to use instead of comfort foods are; talking with family or friends, many forms of exercise, meditation, journal writing and others.
As Lifestyle and Contest Prep Coaches, we find ourselves working with a large majority of our clients, on how to handle these triggers for emotional eating, during their transformation journey, as well as their contest preparation and beyond.
Are you an emotional feeder? How do you handle the triggers in your life, as to avoid emotional eating? What have you found as effective ways to help those close to you, in dealing with their stressors, without turning to food as a “comfort blanket”?
Let us know your thoughts on emotional eating, or if you need help in your own journey to better health and fitness, you can contact us at TheFitLife247@gmail.com