Food and Mood. How To Recognise When Your Hungry Or Just Feeding Your Feelings

Food and Mood. How To Recognise When Your Hungry Or Just Feeding Your Feelings

One of the things that I have been guilty of my whole life is feeding my feelings, I have recently researched the effects my moods have on what food I choose to have, as I’m always looking for comfort food when I’m upset then feeling guilty about eating it afterwards making me depressed and starting the whole vicious circle again. But its time for that to stop! so I am eating a lot healthier and training my brain with the following information so that I’m able to recognise when If eating emotionally or if I’m actually hungry.


We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes you feel worse. Afterwards, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating. Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and changing the habits that have sabotaged your diets in the past.

Understanding emotional eating

If you’ve ever make room for dessert even though you’re already full or dove into a pint of ice cream when you’re feeling down, you’ve experienced emotional eating. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach.

Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself for messing up and not having more willpower. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.

Are you an emotional eater?

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
  • Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

The difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger

Before you can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, you first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you regularly use food to deal with your feelings.

Emotional hunger can be powerful. As a result, it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for that can help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.

  • Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. It hits you in an instant and feels overwhelming and urgent. Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).
  • Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods. When you’re physically hungry, almost anything sounds good—including healthy stuff like vegetables. But emotional hunger craves fatty foods or sugary snacks that provide an instant rush. You feel like you need cheesecake or pizza, and nothing else will do.
  • Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream without really paying attention or fully enjoying it. When you’re eating in response to physical hunger, you’re typically more aware of what you’re doing.
  • Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full. You keep wanting more and more, often eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Physical hunger, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be stuffed. You feel satisfied when your stomach is full.
  • Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach. Rather than a growling belly or a pang in your stomach, you feel your hunger as a craving you can’t get out of your head. You’re focused on specific textures, tastes, and smells.
  • Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you’re unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re simply giving your body what it needs. If you feel guilty after you eat, it’s likely because you know deep down that you’re not eating for nutritional reasons.
Emotional hunger                                                                       vs.                                    Physical hunger
Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. Physical hunger comes on gradually.
Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly. Physical hunger can wait.
Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods. Physical hunger is open to options–lots of things sound good.
Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied with a full stomach. Physical hunger stops when you’re full.
Emotional eating triggers feelings of guilt, powerlessness, and shame. Eating to satisfy physical hunger doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.

Common causes of emotional eating

  • Stress – Ever notice how stress makes you hungry? It’s not just in your mind. When stress is chronic, as it so often is in our chaotic, fast-paced world, it leads to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.
  • Stuffing emotions – Eating can be a way to temporarily silence or “stuff down” uncomfortable emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you’re numbing yourself with food, you can avoid the emotions you’d rather not feel.
  • Boredom or feelings of emptiness – Do you ever eat simply to give yourself something to do, to relieve boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You feel unfulfilled and empty, and food is a way to occupy your mouth and your time. In the moment, it fills you up and distracts you from underlying feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction with your life.
  • Childhood habits – Think back to your childhood memories of food. Did your parents reward good behaviour with ice cream, take you out for pizza when you got a good report card, or serve you sweets when you were feeling sad? These emotionally-based childhood eating habits often carry over into adulthood. Or perhaps some of your eating is driven by nostalgia—for cherishes memories of grilling burgers in the backyard with your dad, baking and eating cookies with your mom, or gathering around the table with your extended family for a home-cooked pasta dinner.
  • Social influences – Getting together with other people for a meal is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to overeating. It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there or because everyone else is eating. You may also overeat in social situations out of nervousness. Or perhaps your family or circle of friends encourages you to overeat, and it’s easier to go along with the group.

Alternatives to emotional eating

  • If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favourite photo or cherished memento.
  • If you’re anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favourite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
  • If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
  • If you’re bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy (woodworking, playing the guitar, shooting hoops, scrapbooking, etc.).


Look After Your Skin This Winter Season.

Look After Your Skin This Winter Season.

If Christmas over-eating and partying has taken its toll on your skin read our tips for reviving your face and body.

Colder weather causes our skin to retain less moisture whilst central heating doubles the problem by drying out the air and leeching moisture from the body.  here are some top tips for looking after your hair and skin this season!

Face the weather


Our faces take the brunt of the winter weather so it’s best to take action before the problems start. Don’t scrimp on your cleanser and then follow-up with a rich moisturiser.  Even though the sun might not be as warm you still need to remember not to go out without SPF on to protect yourself. If it’s in your moisturiser already it’s one less thing to remember. As the weather gets colder it is often our lips that suffer first.  A travel pot of Vaseline works a treat and fits nicely in your handbag/pocket.

Avoid hair static

staticFlyaway static hair always seem to get worse as it gets colder. This is because heating makes the air dry which in turn dehydrates your hair. There are simple things you can do to minimise the problem:

  • Deep condition – treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment as moisturised hair will be less prone to static.
  • Leave-in conditioner – now is the time of year to invest in a leave in conditioner.  Spray it onto wet hair after you have used shampoo and have conditioned.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals – hair products with alcohol in them will dry your hair out.
  • Anti-static sprays – you can buy anti-static sprays which can help. You can also spray it into hoods and hats!

Sort out your rough patches

body brush

Exfoliation is the name of the game here.  Get yourself a body brush and gently brush your whole body.  Direct your strokes away from your heart and all the way to your fingers and toes.  Then apply a body scrub.  There are some great salt based scrubs (standing in the bath whilst you apply is a good idea). Apply in gentle circles to arms, legs, elbows, feet and knees – concentrating on rough patches and then rinsing in the bath or shower.

Add bath milk or oils to your water and moisturise straight after bathing. Applying to damp skin gives an extra moisture boost.

Liven up a dull complexion


happy woman

The secret to keeping skin fresh looking is maintaining your routine. Cleanse and moisturise daily and use the right night cream. If you can grab 10 minutes once a week to exfoliate and apply a face mask you’ll see the results.  To avoid skin drying out, turn the central heating down a notch and open a window to allow moisture into the room. Drink plenty of water and you’ll see an improvement to the tone and appearance of your complexion. (Wonderful Water: The benefits of 8 glasses a day)

Love your hands


Your hands need extra loving at this time of year. Treat yourself to a good hand cream and apply it often.  Wear rubber gloves whilst doing housework and slather your hands in cream before you put them on. The heat from your hands will make the cream work harder. Wear gloves outside to protect your hands. Switch soap for a natural foaming wash to treat your hands

Look after yourself


Give your diet a makeover – the old saying ‘you are what you eat’ couldn’t be more true. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is paramount to good skin. Try to exercise – believe it or not, working up a sweat is not only great for our bodies, it also boosts the skin by releasing toxins, increasing blood flow and resulting in a smoother, healthier complexion. Find local exercise classes where you live.


Natural Detox To Help Maintain A Flat Stomach

Why not give this refreshing detox water a try!

Its a natural detox that will help flush impurities out of your system helping you maintain a flat belly 🙂

2 Lemons

1/2 Cucumber

10-12 Mint Leaves


Leave overnight for a totally natural detox.

The Effects Of Drinking 8 Glasses of Wonderful Water A Day

The Effects Of Drinking 8 Glasses of Wonderful Water A Day

 It is super important for all of us to ensure that we are drinking our eight glasses of water per day. Although this seems like so much, it’s important to understand why we need so much water each day, and that there are definitely great benefits to drinking water that every one should know about, and take into consideration!

Water works wonders, not only does it increase fat burning and reduce your cravings, but it also gives you more energy, and healthier skin! It’s almost as if water is the only medicine we’ll ever need, right?

The question is how does water do all this! It has been proven that the less water you drink, the faster fat deposits will increase. What this means is that water is ultimately suppressing your appetite in a natural manner while helping your body metabolize stored fat. It’s also a great replacement for snacking on those chips that your girlfriends just brought outside while you soak up the sun!

Water is wonderful for our energy system in so many ways. A mild dehydration can sap all of your energy and make you feel extremely tired. The minute you start thinking that you’re thirsty; you’re already sort of dehydrated because the thirst will only lead your muscles to weaken, and you may become dizzy and fatigued.

Lastly, water is a great foundation! How so? It is the best way for your skin to remain hydrated and healthy! Drinking water helps to clear up skin as well as give your skin a glow that you will notice! Although this doesn’t happen overnight, so much as we’d love it to, it’s important to keep drinking the water in order for your skin to show some results.

There are only so many different ways for you to take care of yourself! Let the first step be right here, right now – go to your kitchen and get a glass water, even if it’s your first or 10th of the day. You know you want to!