Why Do I Eat?

Understanding Emotional Eating

iStock-1039609530

A healthy balanced diet doesn’t have to mean that you deprive yourself of all sweet or salty treats. However, many of us struggle with stress or emotional eating. This means we consume foods in response to feelings instead of hunger which can cause excessive intake of calories, and over time can lead to the development of obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.

Physical Hunger:

  • Builds gradually
  • Goes away when full
  • Strikes below the neck
  • Changes to a feeling of satisfaction after eating
  • Occurs several hours after a meal
  • Resolved by eating

Emotional Hunger:

  • Develops suddenly
  • Persists despite fullness
  • Strikes above the neck
  • Results in guilt after eating
  • Unrelated to time—could occur even if you just ate

Take Control of Your Eating

Try to consume five to six small, nutrient-dense meals per day to nourish your body every few hours while you are awake. This way of eating supports an increased metabolic rate and will help to ward off cravings and maintain proper blood sugar levels. Also focus on eating lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Begin “Mindful Eating”

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Taste the food (tart, sweet, spicy, etc.)
  • Plan an eating schedule (7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.)
  • Put your fork down between bites or chew your food 20 times per bite
  • Eat in one place: the kitchen table instead of the couch in front of the TV
  • Focus on eating—do nothing else
  • Slow down—aim to take at least 20 minutes to finish your meal

Lose Weight the Healthy Way

If you feel you need more assistance in making positive dietary or behavioral changes, talk with a registered dietitian and/or a counselor. Attend an upcoming Lose Weight... Find Heath seminar to learn more about options for bariatric surgery. Visit lakelandweightlosscenter.com/events for a complete schedule.

Continue Watching

Check Up: Gastric Bypass vs. Sleeve Gastrectomy (Seth Miller, MD)

Bariatric surgeon, Seth Miller, MD, discusses the pros and cons to the two most popular weight loss surgery options: Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

Physician Video Profile: Seth Miller, MD (Bariatric and General Surgery)

Seth Miller, MD, is a board-certified general and bariatric surgeon who sees patients at Lakeland General Surgery and the Lakeland Weight Loss Center in Niles, Michigan.

Lakeland Weight Loss Center Helps Lacy Lange Lose over 140 lbs.

Lacy Lange of Benton Harbor lose over 140 pounds with the tools, resources, and support of the Lakeland Weight Loss Center.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy: Lacy Lange "How I lost 120 Pounds (The Healthy Way)"

Lacy Lange had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy with Dr. Jill Gorsuch and has lost over 120 pounds since her first visit with the weight loss center.

Physician Video Profile: Michael Schuhknecht, DO (Bariatric and General Surgery)

Dr. Schuhknecht is one of Michigan’s most experienced surgeons, having performed weight loss and general surgeries for nearly 20 years.

Lose Weight. Find Health. (Michael Schuhknecht, DO)

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, Weight Loss Surgery, Shelley Wilkinson

Follow Shelly through her weight loss of over 110 lbs, through vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery, Patient Story on Weight Loss: Lenee Svorec

Follow Lenee through her weight loss of over 120 lbs, through bariatric surgery

Lakeland has a Heart to Serve now with Spectrum Health

Improving health, inspiring hope, saving lives. Spectrum Health Lakeland is now part of Spectrum Health offering an expanded care team, additional specialties, and new technology for you and your family.

Spectrum Health Lakeland: Your 100 Top Hospital

IBM Watson Health™ published its 100 Top Hospitals® 2019 study naming Lakeland among the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. based on overall organizational performance.

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2019