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Fall Triggers: Emotional Eating

And the Fall is upon us!

This time of year the weather starts cooling down, festivities are on the rise, the days get shorter and the nights become longer and nature begins to retreat for rest. If you pay close attention, your body and spirit may be doing the same-- nudging you for more time to relax or to get to bed at an earlier time, and possibly a heightened desire to participate in festivities more than work. On the emotional health side, you may even notice a shift in your mood-- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, "SAD is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons-- SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you are like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the Fall and continue into the Winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the Spring or early Summer." On the physical side, you may notice you are starting to eat more leading to weight gain as a result of all the festivities taking place. For some people the Fall/Winter holidays or festivities trigger loneliness, as these holidays may trigger memories of loved ones they no longer celebrate this time with. Factors to include SAD and festivities/holidays this time of year can trigger drastic mood shifts and may negatively impact your day to day functioning around this time in your life. In an attempt to cope with this shift you may begin to seek comfort-- one of the areas where this is sought is through eating, emotional eating.

"Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food-- usually "comfort" or junk foods-- in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions."

Here are 5 signs of emotional eating:

  1. Eating in response to relieving stress or attempting to cope with a negative emotion.

  2. Choosing to eat appropriately during times of what is perceived as "good times" as a means of rewarding yourself or now being able to take yourself out of punishment.

  3. Poor self-awareness; unable to distinguish when you are eating to fulfill physical hunger or a non-food hunger need.

  4. Being aware that you are full, but you continue to eat despite this feeling on a regular basis.

  5. Trouble sticking to your diet leading to difficulty with weight loss not accounted to a medical condition.

If you notice any of these signs and would like to learn more about your eating patterns that may not be healthy for you, please consider the Community Workshop being hosted at the office: Emotional and Compulsive Overeating. For more information about emotional eating checkout the office's social media platforms this month.

October Blessings and a Happy Fall!🍁🎃🍂

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