Food and happiness

Food and happiness

Does food ever really make you happy? a basic coaching tool can help you. Monitoring is the first step, understanding is the second, the third...

Deborah Cripps, coach inglese che vive a Newbury, gestisce un blog e condivide con noi una riflessione sul rapporto con il cibo, o meglio fra cibo e sensazione di felicità. Tema che ha esplorato anche nel suo libro <I’m not Fat, I Have Fat> di cui è disponibile il download gratuito. Per migliorare il controllo su tale rapporto, l’autrice propone un classico strumento da coach: redigere una lista.


There are a lot of people who I talk to who often tell me one of the reasons why they overeat is because they are eating for comfort.  This is something I have explored over the years.  Research shows that sugar, fatty foods and chocolate please your brain. So your mind releases feel good chemicals to reward you. Foods with calcium, chromium and folate, like milk, broccoli and avocados, lower your stress and depression levels and help energize you.


But does food ever really make you happy?

It is true, you may experience an enhanced mood or even euphoric feeling when you eat some foods. However, in my experience, this usually only lasts for a short period of time. And many of the foods which cause a naturally enjoyable sensation in your mind are not ones that are helpful to you. Foods heavy in processed sugar, salt and fat, drinks and foods rich in chocolate and caffeine, all of these attack your brain just like a narcotic does in a drug addict.


Addictive Foods That Deliver Short-Term Pleasure Can be Dangerous

Those unhealthy foods have been linked to dozens of diseases and dangerous health conditions. So while in the short term, for a few minutes or maybe even an hour, you get an emotional boost, the crash you receive afterward and the addictive desire for more puts you in a poor emotional state.

True happiness comes from within, not from emotional eating. But it’s important to remember that it is not your fault.  Your body was designed to reward you with pleasurable and comfortable feelings when you eat. This is to ensure that you eat enough to survive. It is a normal and natural reaction.


But when you begin to eat purely to experience those short feeling of happiness and satisfaction that the act of eating provides, you can cause serious health and emotional problems.


And when you think about it, if you have an unhealthy relationship with food, it can make you downright unhappy. You eat chocolate, you enjoy a sweet, fat-filled, sugar-packed snack, and you get a nearly instantaneous feeling of pleasure and happiness.

But not long after, that feeling disappears, only to be replaced with an irresistible craving for even more unhealthy food.

And many times in this situation you begin to feel depressed and anxious, and your self-esteem drops. You become angry at your inability to control your desire for these unhealthy foods. This can lead to binge eating, and the dangerous food for happiness cycle continues.


Journaling your eating can help

If you eat primarily because it makes you feel good, you may want to talk to a physician or food addiction specialist. From merely packing on a few extra pounds to causing life-threatening heart diseases and other illnesses, eating for reasons other than hunger can lead to a wide range of health problems. Keep a food journal to find out if you are eating in response to periods of high stress other emotions, and you will identify what your triggers are.  This is the first step to putting in place the steps you need to manage your emotions without the use of food.

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