Much of the weight gain is due to what is called “emotional eating.” According to MedicineNet.com, emotional eating is defined as “the practice of consuming large quantities of food – usually ‘comfort’ or junk food – in response to feelings instead of hunger.” Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Emotional eating has been written about by authors Suzanne Barnett, Jennifer Barnett Lesman and Amy Barnet Buchanan, better known as internet bloggers, “3 fat chicks on a diet”.
According to them, stress is one of the most common causes of overeating. They wrote, “When people feel stressed, they often reach for certain comfort foods to help them deal with negative emotions. These comfort foods are usually high in fats, sugar and calories. If you are one of these people then you probably find yourself craving cookies, potato chips, ice cream or candy bars whenever you’re feeling stressed. Giving in to these cravings is also known as stress craving.”
What? Were these ladies spying on me? This gave me much to think about. I needed to find a way to deal with stress in a way other than eating. I was certainly guilty of finding comfort in food, especially “junk food.”
One day, as I reached for a candy bar, I remembered a verse from the Bible that gave me an insight as to how I might draw on my spiritual practices to move away from this compulsive behavior. It states, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:” (Isa. 40: 11).
A shepherd would not over-feed his flock or give them food that they don’t need. I realized when I felt stressed, I could rely on God’s care and guidance to quiet my food cravings and help me find effective ways to avoid or resolve stress
This moment of spiritual insight became a turning point for me in how I deal with the pressures of life. While this is an ongoing project, I feel a measure of success. I don’t eat to feed my emotions as much, and I have lost a few pounds!