Food is source of energy, nourishment, and means of having good health. But I am sure we all can relate to sometimes eating to alleviate pangs of loneliness, quell anger, beat boredom or cater to other feelings. We may use food to address what is bothering us but its best work is to feed our body and not our feelings and emotions. And after eating it is not uncommon to regret the food choices, we made to feed our feelings and not our stomach.

Sometimes it may be hard to pinpoint if you were eating because of hunger or because of your feelings, but once we realize and manage, weight loss goals may become easier. Observe some of the following pointers and you will be able to realize for self, if its emotional eating or not.

Event triggering the eating  

Did you eat after a fight, or being upset or after negative feedback or because you were bored or you could not handle the work pressure or you ate because it has been a while since you ate your last meal and it is time to feed the physical body. If you headed towards the kitchen or pantry because of stress or boredom then it’s emotional eating and knowing your trigger can help you effectively manage your emotions.  

Hungry from mind not from stomach

Your mind will guide you when you are emotionally eating. I will eat some food from the fridge and I will feel better and get some energy to start. This is emotional eating. Real hunger will slightly and slowly guide and send steady signals before it growls in our tummy. So, if you eat thinking it will boost your mood, then its emotional eating.

I want my ice-cream

If you are eating out of stress then you may ask for specific foods like chips, chocolates, ice-cream etc., because only when you eat them you feel satisfied. True hunger could be more flexible and you will be open to food choices as far they feed your stomach. So, if you have a go to food to make you feel nice then you are emotionally eating.    

Can’t control your portion

When you seem to have no control over your portions, then you are probably doing emotional eating. You are unable to stop your urge to eat more. You land up eating bag full of chips, full tub of ice-cream, polish the mithai ka dabba. And then you feel guilty for doing what you did.

Emotional eating can be one of the big barriers to the weight loss goals. The table below gives a quick snap shot of how to differentiate between actual hunger and emotional hunger.

Bach Flower remedies can help reduce weight by alleviating the stress and anxiety that lead to emotional eating. Very often weight gain or loss issue is related to emotional stress the person may be going through hence it is very important that you address specific emotions and take Bach Remedies that are personalized for your own emotional need. Bach Flower Remedies work only on emotional aspect of the person and do not work on the physical ailments. It is advisable to consult a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner to make your own personalized blend of Bach Flower Remedies.

Some of the following ways Bach Flower Remedies can help address certain emotional aspects

Cherry Plum can help you when you binge on food, losing self-control. The stress of things not going your way is one of the major causes for finding comfort in food and over indulging in it.

Gentian can help when small setback discourages you and you land up snacking to comfort yourself. Snacking provides you with some relief, momentarily though. Gentian helps you bounce back after a setback.

Chestnut Bud can help if you keep making the same mistake of eating again and again, without any rhyme or reason. This remedy can keep you away from repeating the same mistake.

Olive can help when you eat when you really low on energy and feel drained. You eat as a way to get more energy, and not necessarily eating nutritional stuff which actually increase energy but satisfy your taste buds. Olive can help when you feel your energy levels are deserting you.

Walnut when you can’t seem to be able to break relationship with certain food items which you are supposed to break with, and embrace newer food relationship. Walnut is a link breaker and can help you to move through this transition.

Agrimony when you use food as a way to escape from unpleasant situation and keep a happy exterior. Agrimony can help you deal with the situation and confront it rather than hide it.  

(Disclaimer: please note above are suggestive remedies, one must make a personal blend after consulting a BFRP (Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner)