Stress, Head Hunger and Emotional Eating

Things have been out of control busy for the last two weeks. I have to keep reminding myself that all of this craziness is only temporary. At least all the school related stuff is which is good. I have a medical nutrition class that has tests every weekend along with multiple care plan group projects. My community nutrition class currently has one huge group project going on that makes up nearly half the class grade.

I hate group projects. They make me very stressed out especially when other people wait to the last minute to get their work done.

stressed cat

Under times of stress I find myself returning to old habits to relieve the stress. Eating was my main one. I find myself frequently drifting into the kitchen to look through cabinets to find something “good” to eat. Not because I’m hungry. I’m not. It’s more to relieve the stress. While surgery restricts how much I can eat at one time there is nothing to solve this type of eating. Emotional eating is the hardest to solve.

You’ve probably heard people say something along this line: “they operated on my stomach, not on my head”. Even if I roll my eyes when it’s said it really is true. WLS doesn’t fix this type of stress release mechanism. Some days I have the upper hand and can put a stop to this type of head hunger or emotional eating. Other times it wins.

How do you stop head hunger?

Stopping it is different for everyone. For me, whenever I find myself returning to look for food when I’m not hungry, I have to ask myself some questions. What am I looking for? Why? Am I really hungry or am I just bored, tired, mad, sad, stressed, etc.

If I were really hungry then I would be willing to eat something nutritious….protein, veggies, soup, cheese, fruit, etc. If I’m not interested in those things and find that I’m craving “good stuff”, which translates into junk food (chips, crackers, cookies, etc) then I know it’s head hunger or emotional eating. For me the only way to stop it is to keep talking to myself. No, not out loud. I keep reminding myself that eating isn’t going to solve the problem of being stressed, tired, mad, etc. Then I try to focus on doing something else. Again. Sometimes I win. Sometimes my head wins.

How about you? What do you do when you have head hunger?

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