How Do You Eat? The Connection Between Food & Emotions

October 14, 2019


This is can be often overlooked, but there is often a connection between one’s emotions and the food one consumes. This common connection is something each person needs to be aware of.


For example, “It was a busy day. You had a stressful time at work and you had to cut out some work of the day to take your kids to soccer practice. When you arrive home, you have made it a habit of going straight to the pantry and grabbing a bag of potato chips to just sit on the couch. Later, you realize half the bag is empty….”


 This can be called “mindless eating.”


You probably did not think about it while you were eating that you just consumed 600+ calories! Each person has different reasons for this. I personally relate this to a personalized reward system that each of us has created in our head.


Mindless vs Present Eating




Here are a couple tips to get you out of mindless eating:


·         Slow down while you are eating so your body can recognize when it is full. Drink some water in between each bite. Our body is controlled by hormones, and eating releases hormones that tell us when we are still hungry and full. These hormones need some time to be kicked in.


·         Using a smaller plate for dinner instead of a larger one can help you reduce your food intake.


·         Never eat directly out of a bag or box. Always put your food on a plate or in a bowl to know exactly how much you are going to be eating.




How many times have you sat down to eat a meal and not really even noticed how the food tasted? Of course, you knew if you liked it or did not like it, but did you actually really taste it? These are the types of questions that you can start asking yourself to try to get yourself into present eating.


In this age, doing one thing at a time instead of multitasking is hard. Many families will eat dinner while watching TV or checking their phones.  This mindless eating is hurting both our relationships with each other, our food, and our as health. Put all your energy and focus into your food and see what types of rewards you get back.


Remember, people have a strong connection between food and emotions. Try your hardest to avoid mindless eating. Stay in the present and enjoy your food. Keep yourself and others in mind with your health.




The Author

Carlo Varquez, M.S.

I believe in the practice of preventative health. The only way to combat chronic diseases is through preventative action such as exercise and diet. My health and wellness career started within myself. After being an active person in high school through sports, my fitness dropped entering college. I gained unhealthy habits that lead to weight gain. To prevent any complications, I made some time to be active again by picking up weight lifting. Through that, I found myself wanting to help others before it was too late for them. As I gained my masters degree, I interned at the Cardiac Rehabilitation department at Advocate Lutheran General. I saw firsthand what cardiovascular disease can do, and what the action plan is to help those people return back to their daily routine. The time to make change is now, but it doesn’t need to be done alone. The science behind exercise is a powerful tool that is often overlooked. I want to motivate and increase self-efficacy to help others achieve their goals.

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