10 Emotional Reasons That Lead To Weight Gain
Most of us have a perception that overeating is caused due to physical or genetic factors. We even believe that some people just tend to eat more than usual.
While all these are true, there is an additional factor that can contribute to overeating and that is – emotions. Emotional stressors can cause you to overeat greatly, without you even knowing it.
Here is a list of ten such emotions that can make you overeat, which you need to look out for.
- Loneliness – The relationship between feeling lonely and eating has existed for a long time. Research has shown that those who feel lonely have greater levels of the appetite-inducing hormone – ghrelin. They tend to feel hungry sooner and hence, overeat. Generally, those who are lonely tend to eat more than those who have social support.
- Boredom – Another toxic emotion that can cause people to overeat is boredom. In today’s living culture, when people have nothing to do, they often turn to eating or snacking as a way to spend the time. It’s easy to see that this is an extremely unhealthy habit. A way to change this is to take up an interesting hobby that keeps you distracted.
- Stress – When you are stressed, your nervous system increases adrenaline production and puts fatty acids into your bloodstream. This causes you to feel hungry and you tend to reach for food. While this isn’t something that can be solved, you can opt for low-calorie food to soften the blow.
- Anxiety – When you’re feeling anxious or nervous, your body reacts that same way it does when it is stressed. The storage of unused fatty acids that were pumped into your blood makes you feel hungry and peckish. As a result, you tend to overeat. In fact, research has shown that anxiety is one of the main reasons behind weight gain.
- Shame – Yes, you read the right. Even shame can make you overeat. Whenever we feel embarrassed or ashamed, we often try to comfort ourselves by turning to food. As a result, we end up overeating and gain weight greatly.
- Frustration – Similar to the other emotions discussed above, when we are frustrated, we look for ways to calm ourselves down as fast as possible. So, we turn to food as a way to achieve instant gratification. We keep on eating till we feel better which is sure-shot a recipe for weight gain.
- Deprivation – People often eat as a way to refill an empty part of their lives. It can be to replace physical intimacy, adventure, love, or more. Not only is doing so bad for your health, but it can lead to eating disorders as well. The best way to change this is to engage in productive activities.
- Idleness – Have you ever felt the urge to munch on snacks while seated in front of the TV or your phone? Well, that is also a reason behind overeating. When your attention is focused elsewhere, you often tend to consume more than necessary.
- Sadness – We have all reached for a tub of ice-cream as a way to comfort ourselves after a fight or a bad day. While this can be soothing, it also causes you to eat a lot of high-calorie foods without concern over quantity. As a result, you end up gaining a lot of weight.
- Reward system – It is quite normal for us to treat ourselves to a good feast after achieving something or overcoming an obstacle. But doing so recklessly can cause you to overeat and gain a lot of weight. It is essential to be prudent when rewarding ourselves with food, so as to not make it a habit.