Εmotional Οvereating: What is it
Emotional overeating is defined as “the tendency to eat as a response to positive or negative emotions”.
Emotional overeating (or stress eating), which in most cases is connected to compulsive overeating, is the unrestrained and excessively increased food consumption, a result of a negative and oppressed psychological state.
The cause of eating disorders is usually multifactorial. Biological, psychological, social and individual factors are those that often interact and lead to overeating episodes. It is an addiction and presents, like any other addiction, specific characteristics and cycles with various exacerbations in different time periods.
Εmotional Οvereating: What can cause it
Emotions that can trigger such episodes are sadness, anger, anxiety, frustration, boredom, loneliness, disappointment and feelings of unfulfillment. Therefore, they can be triggered by unpleasant events or situations, such as e.g. a divorce, a physical loss, a sudden change of environment or unemployment. Overeating works as a way of suppressing unpleasant feelings without real biological hunger and the person is unable to impose on himself.
Overeating is felt as a type of cure for the individual. This particular behavior leads us to guilt, which is added to the previous feelings and as a result, it creates a vicious circle, which leads to weight gain.
This pathological hunger appears suddenly even after consuming a regular meal, with an obvious and strong desire for certain foods. The foods you want to eat are specific, usually high in calories and fat, and high in saturated carbohydrates.
Substitutes (like low fat products) do not offer the same sense of satisfaction. It is a need that manifests itself directly and urgently due to the emotional intensity of the individual. Our body seeks through food quick relief from the unpleasant psychological state it experiences.
The difference between emotional overeating and bulimia nervosa is the fact that no vomiting is induced nor is there use of laxatives, diet, or intense exercise and as a result the person becomes overweight.
Emotional Overeating and Acupuncture
The action of Medical Acupuncture on emotional overeating concerns the center of appetite. A personalized medical acupuncture treatment can “restart the brain” so as to delete the psychological factors that led to the tendency to eat. The result is that after a reasonable period of time, the organism returns to its proper balance and the body to its normal weight. This period varies depending on the particular characteristics of each patient and the treatment protocol that will be selected.