Food Cravings VS Emotional Eating

food craving vs emotional eatingHave you ever decided that you are not going to eat something and then a very short time later it has jumped into your mouth?  YES.  You are not alone.  It happens to many of us.

It leads to feelings of frustration and what is wrong with me, thoughts.

You decide that it must be a lack willpower.

But I can assure you that there is nothing wrong with your will power.  The issue is with your SUBCONSCIOUS brain.

Your subconscious brain is 10x stronger than your conscious brain.  If it decides that you need to eat something, then you must eat it.  You might fight the desire for a while, but eventually your subconscious brain will show its hand.

Our subconscious brain is the centre for feelings, and emotions as well as memory and addictions.  There is a lot going on in there.

Sometimes we feel the need to eat specific food.  Seeing an advertisement on TV, or a picture, or just a thought about the food can trigger our desire.  These are called CRAVINGS.

A craving is for specific food.  It could be any food or drink, but some common examples are chocolate, chips, hot chips, biscuits, and bread.

You see the food, or even just thinking about it, and you feel like have to eat some NOW.

In my chocoholic days, I would do just about anything to get my fix of chocolate.  One day I was home with three young children and no car and I desperately wanted some chocolate.  There was none in the house as I would have eaten any previously.  I wanted the chocolate so badly that I put the three children in the pram and walked along the country road, with no foot paths, a couple of kilometers to the nearest shop.  Because it had taken so much effort to get there, I stocked up, and enjoyed my favorites on the way home.

Now this is addictive behavior.

With both the centre for addiction and the centre for feelings being in the same part of the brain, one can easily trigger the other.

Positive emotions are connected with the food.  We remember being rewarded as a child, we remember parties, and other treat times. Treat foods and special times go together so well and our mind remembers all this.  When life is feeling a bit tough, when we are tired, or overworked, then we need a pick me up.  Something maybe with a quick sugar fix to lift the flagging energy, and something that makes you feel better, then your favorite food, it must be, and nothing is going to stop your subconscious brain from having what it wants.

Your emotions are in the food.  You feel happy and excited at just the thought of having your favourite food.  It is so easy to reach out and get it. (Even if it does require a 6km round trip pushing a pram on uneven surfaces!!)

There is another thing going on in your body that makes it extremely difficult to say no to sugary food, or simple carbohydrates that turn to sugar easily in the body.  There is an addiction part to the equation.  Scientific research has shown that mice would prefer the shot of sugar over the shot of cocaine.  Even the mice that were addicted to cocaine switched to sugar when they were given a choice.

This sugar is powerful stuff.

You really, really like your drug of choice and it makes you feel good.

When we are feeling stressed and uncomfortable then we feel the craving.  Cravings can be identified when you are watching something on TV and suddenly you want that food.  If you wait more than 10 minutes, the feelings will go away and be onto the next thing.

Whereas Emotional Eating has some different characteristics

When you are having a tough time.  People yelling at you, people treating you badly, or maybe, it is just you treating yourself unkindly.  Whichever it is, a range of negative thoughts are going through your brain.  You can feel the feelings rising up in your body.

You look to food to make yourself feel better.  It is like a big hole and you need to fill it with something.  “Give me anything to eat”, and just a little bit won’t fill the hole.

The hole can be fear, hurt, sadness or looking for safety.

Often something bad happened in early childhood, and you used food as a comfort, and it became a habitual way to make yourself feel better.

When the negative feelings arise, then eating can push the feeling down again.

You will look for your favourite foods but really, any food will do.  Foods that make you feel nice, calm you down and feel like you are treating yourself.  Sugars and simple carbohydrates raise serotonin levels making you feel good for a short time.  Unfortunately, most of these foods are not treating your body well, and in the long run make you feel worse, thereby starting a vicious cycle of eating to calm the emotion and then hating yourself more for eating so much, or eating that particular type of food.  And the worse bit is, the emotion is still there.  Underneath the full feeling and serotonin rush, you are still feel sad, lonely, hurt, angry, and frustrated too.

The SOLUTION is to solve the underlying emotional issues.

This is why dieting doesn’t work.  It is about trying to use the conscious brain to override the subconscious brain, and this might work for a short period of time, but eventually the messages from the subconscious brain take over.

When we use EFT to work with food addictions, we address the feelings and memories.

What time does this feeling remind you of? What do you associate this food with?

By working with the underlying issues we are changing the subconscious brain and it will stop pushing you into behaviors’ that you do not want to choose.

I am running a live FREE webinar on Friday the 27th January where we will be talking more about this issue and doing a live tapping on a food you crave.

Bring your most craved food to the webinar and work through your feelings with the group. You will be amazed at how quickly your tastes change.

Friday 27th January at 12PM AEST (Brisbane) 1PM (Sydney, Melbourne)

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