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Five emotions that are making you fat

Our feelings can cause us to pile on the pounds. Here’s what to watch out for

brunch Updated: Dec 01, 2013 18:08 IST
Shikha Sharma

In times of stress or anxiety, many of us turn to food to comfort ourselves. But the reason why we do this is complex. Basically, our bodies have a weight set-point, controlled by our brain. This ensures that our vital parameters are controlled and maintained by the body.

This set-point also controls our weight, which is the result of many things like our genetic set-point, habits, and interaction with the external environment. For example, if the body loses or gains weight, this set-point measures the change and sends out signals that can make the body either regain the lost weight or lose the weight that was gained.

Our emotions play a significant role in making the body overrule the mind. They may be the hidden factor that helps the body get stuck at a particular weight or make the body lose or gain weight. If I may hazard a hypothesis, I believe that our emotional set-point influences the body’s set-point. The following emotions can play havoc with any diet regime:

1. Anxiety: When women get anxious, they crave foods that are sweet or crunchy.

2. Anger and frustration:These emotions translate into overeating spicy, sweet or sour foods.

3. Boredom: Feeling bored or listless can be the first step towards a downward spiral, and also lead to excessive eating.

4. Low self-esteem: Feeling low and unloved can dent a women’s self-esteem, which invariably leads to overeating. Generally, women are more self-conscious and harsh. This may get aggravated by cruel comments from others, which can send them into a negative spiral. This often leads to overeating. Feeling unappreciated can be a blow to a woman’s self-esteem. Under such situations, many women who feel less appreciated may internalise the hurt by overeating.

5. Fear: This is a powerful emotion and can lead to immense amounts of weight gain. Many people who experience fear use food as a coping mechanism. Comfort eating is a common result of subconscious fears.

For queries, reach Shikha Sharma

From HT Brunch, November 24

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