Mind Your Food!

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It starts with a cup of ice cream, goes onto a tub and finally, as we wallow in our feelings of self-pity and unhappiness, the meal ends with huge portions of dessert and coffee. Food and emotions have always had a thing going. We eat more and mostly wrong when we are low, while happiness makes us choose wisely and eat with control. But there has to be a way to check the bad patches, right? Rationalising and planning good food choices when low? Yes.
Good, bad and ugly
When you feel low, it results in a certain kind of numbness and reaching for the jar of mayo or packets of chips in a trance like state. “Under stress or excitement, there are certain neurochemical changes in the brain that can alter the eating habits: one may lose appetite or develop carb cravings/binge eating patterns,” says Dr Sameer Malhotra, psychotherapist and de-addiction specialist. On the other hand, good feelings make you alert and focused. The trick here is to accept the feelings… without indulging them.
Get a grip
According to a latest research published in the journal Child Development, emotional eating has its roots in childhood. It says that when parents soothe their toddlers with food, their children end up engaging more in emotional eating later in life. While reaching for that occasional comfort food is not really a bad idea to help us get a grip on our emotions, too much dependence on food to soothe is a bad idea.
Choose Healthy
It is just not the food but also the kind of food that’s a problem. As nutritionist Nivedita Singh says, “Emotional eating responds to stress so a person tends to eat high carbohydrates, high calorie food with very low nutritive value and thus all this leads to obesity, diabetes, heart and cholesterol problems.” Most emotionally satisfying foods contain opiodes that delude us into feeling satiated and happy. They get us hooked to them. So choose wisely. If you really want to eat something sweet, choose an apple or dates over a dessert and if you must have ice cream, just have a scoop. Avoid whites for sure!
Love Yourself
Be it anger, sadness, jealousy or disappointment; it is better to practice tolerating difficult feelings than by blunting them with food. Other ways to feel good could be getting fitter, joining a zumba dance class or playing a physically demanding sport. Nothing works? Start a house improvement project! Love yourself and your surroundings.

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