Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences, and different kinds of people cope with their loss in different ways. One such coping method is known as grief-eating, which means eating lots of unhealthy food in an attempt to trick your own body. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and fats, a feel-good chemical called dopamine is released by the brain. This only makes you want to eat more of the same kinds of food.
Grief-eating is not the healthiest coping mechanism especially because it can be so addictive. Moreover, it can have adverse long-term effects such as weight gain, health issues, low self-esteem, and even eating disorders.
Below we outline some steps you can take to overcome grief-eating:
- Understand that it’s okay to grief-eat as long as you have control
Grief-eating is nothing but one of the many coping mechanisms that people adopt after the loss of a loved one. It is only natural that you want to search for momentary comfort in any way possible. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t talk yourself down using negative self-talk. Instead, accept that it’s only temporary.
- Know what your emotional triggers are
You are most probably grief-eating because something triggers it. It could be a thought, a feeling, an event, or even an object that makes you want to eat to comfort yourself. Find out what these triggers are. It will help you in managing your stress.
- Physical hunger vs. emotional hunger
Know the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, so you know when to consume food or not. Physical hunger builds up gradually in your stomach, while emotional hunger comes on suddenly. You will also most likely crave a specific food that is high in sugar or fat.
Thanks for reading,