What is Emotional Eating? How can we regulate our relationship with food?


Food is a basic need for all of us. In Abraham Maslow’s (1943) Pyramid of Needs, at the bottom is the level of physical needs, and this level symbolizes our basic needs for survival. According to this theory, we cannot move on to the next step without completing the physical need step, which is the first step.

In recent years, we are all aware that food has become an emotional need rather than a physical need, and our relationship with food has changed and become differentiated. We’ve heard a lot of the term “emotional eating” lately. As a result of modern living conditions and the growth of negative emotional states, emotional eating behavior has increased in recent years, and, accordingly, eating disorders have become frequently observed. Let’s take a look at what emotional eating is and redefine our relationship with food…

How to deal with emotions without food?

It can be said that the culture of food and even the crowded dining tables characteristic of our culture are quite common. Holidays, family dinners, holidays, parties for us are events that include fun and good times along with food. When we eat when we are pleasant and happy, it gives us pleasure when we share with each other and spend time together, and at the same time it can be a companion that will quickly lead us to happiness in difficult times. High stress, negative emotions, loneliness, feelings of emptiness, unhappiness can lead us into emotional eating behavior that can make us as happy as possible. Eating behavior, easy and accessible, becomes a ritual that slips away when our negative emotions intensify and are quickly pleasurable. However, over time, we realize that this short-term happiness is replaced by unhappiness, and in fact our unhappiness remains there, no matter how much we eat. That’s when we stay in an emotional eating cycle and wait for things to improve and we get caught up in a vicious cycle. This continues until our physical and mental health deteriorates.

However, there is an important point to which we must pay attention and ask ourselves a question. When do we exhibit the most eating behavior? Do we eat when we are really hungry or when we are sad and lonely? When we analyze our emotions and our relationship with food, it is worth noting that we may run into the problem of emotional overeating if we cling to foods containing intense carbohydrates and sugar to feel good when we are at our most lonely and unhappy. If you have emotional eating behavior and frequently engage in negative eating behaviors, you may be able to get psychological support from a mental health professional.

Source: Maslow, A.H. (1943). Theory of human motivation. Psychological Review 50, 370-396

You may be interested in: Emotional Eating Disorders: Causes and Treatment

Random Post

Leave a reply