Fast Food and Emotional Eating

Do you go to a fast food restaurant and order the healthier food options? A recent study found that only 15 percent of diners order healthier options at fast food establishments. W can draw the conclusion based on the data it that most consumers don’t go to fast food restaurants when they want healthy food.

While there are healthier options at every fast food restaurant these days, but I think that most people turn to fast food for very specific reasons. These reasons include when they are upset and want to disconnect from their feelings, because at these times they need comfort food. Fast food brings back childhood memories, or memories of great road trips. Unfortunately, fast food is associated with the good times, similar to alcohol. The resulting negative feelings that occur after consumption are not the focus when the decision is made to purchase fast food.

On a personal note, I know that the times I am most likely to eat off of my optimum diet occur when I’m tired, stressed, or most likely both. We as human beings have the luxury, if you want to call them that, of having vices that can comfort us. Ultimately I believe that is the main reason why we choose to engage in both negative, and positive behaviors.

So what can be done to undue these ingrained needs to seek out self-defeating vices in times when comfort is desired? In the case of fast food, it is certainly an emotional eating issue. In order to correct this we need to focus on increasing our own awareness in realizing that it’s a certain emotion, not hunger that’s driving us to eat off of our diet. From there we need to find non-food ways to cope.

All of this is much easier said than done. We are a complicated species, yet a simple one at the same time. Our behaviors are governed by a complex network of chemical reactions in the brain that are tied to memories, that are tied to the emotional triggers or stressors of any given situation. Where we are simple is that like any creature, we at times just want to escape from the pressure of life, or the feelings that we carry with us that at times can be overwhelming. What we need to do at these times is to stop and think. Action will keep us progressing, reaction will just move us further away from where we want to go.

Happy Lifting!

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