Emotional Overeating Awareness Month

Caregiver in Aurora CO

If there is one thing that you can anticipate about your caregiver journey it is that you will undergo a variety of emotions. Being a family caregiver means that you are responsible for helping your Caregiver-in-Aurora-COaging parent fulfill her needs on a regular basis. This can put you in a variety of challenging situations and cause stress, anxiety, sadness, and a sense of being overwhelmed. While experiencing these emotions occasionally is normal for anyone, if they reach levels that interfere with your normal life, they can have lasting and serious consequences. One is the development of an unhealthy relationship with food.

April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. This month is set aside as a time to not only recognize emotional overeating but to also find effective and nurturing ways to overcome it. If you are using eating as a coping mechanism for the stress in your caregiver journey, you are not benefitting yourself. In fact, you are putting your physical, mental, and emotional health at risk. Acknowledging that you may be experiencing emotional overeating and implementing ways to cope with it can help you to protect yourself and your care relationship with your loved one.

 

Use the following questions to help you determine if you may be dealing with emotional overeating:

  • Does your hunger come on very suddenly? Actual physical hunger is something that starts mild and gradually increases. Emotional hunger happens in seconds and feels like an urgent need to eat.
  • Do you actually feel hunger pangs? There is a difference between being hungry and wanting to eat. When you are hungry, your body sends you signals such as a pain or gnawing feeling in the stomach or even growling. Emotional hunger, or wanting to eat, is about your mind. You do not feel hungry, but you want or “need” to eat something.
  • Do you crave something specific? Cravings do have an actual function. They are your body’s way of encouraging you to eat foods that contain specific nutrients that it needs. Some cravings, however, are purely emotions. If you always crave the same food or types of food when you are stressed, anxious, sad, or bored, it is an emotional overeating response.
  • Do you eat even when you are full? Your body only needs but so much food, but your mind can encourage you to eat much more. Each time you eat, evaluate whether you are actually still hungry or if you are really satisfied and just eating to eat.

 

If you are dealing with emotional overeating, some ways that you can help to overcome it and improve your caregiver experience include:

  • If you feel yourself wanting to eat, take a moment to evaluate if you are actually hungry. If you do not have true hunger pangs and you know that you have eaten recently, move on.
  • Develop other coping mechanisms that can help you deal with your stress and anxiety. Things like journaling, taking a walk, using sensory condition, or saying affirmations can get you through a tense moment without reaching for a snack.
  • Find ways to reduce the stress in your life. Ask for more help with your care responsibilities and be sure that you are taking care of yourself. Think of food as a source of fuel and nutrition that will improve your body, not something that is for your mind.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services near Aurora, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

Source:   http://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/emotional-eating.htm

About Greg Elliott

Greg Elliott founded the Visiting Angels’ office in 2008 after a successful, twenty year career in pharmaceutical sales and management. The original office was located in Lakewood, and has since been relocated to Wheat Ridge to accommodate our ever-expanding team.

“Our goal is to allow Seniors to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. The service that we provide is truly rewarding, and I love the time I get to spend meeting Seniors in our community.”

Greg is a proud graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently resides in Arvada, and loves spending time with his wife and son and their Australian Shepherd . When not at the office, Greg enjoys travel, skiing, golf and fly-fishing.

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