Nervous hunger is a condition often caused by mental discomfort. Its effects on our psyche are temporary but those on our health are harmful. Here are some tips for winning this battle.
Nervous hunger, or emotional hunger, is the condition in which you eat not out of hunger but to appease a more mental than physical illness. The stimuli that most drive nervous hunger are stress, anxiety, boredom, sadness, low self-esteem, using food as an outlet or safe haven. However, it is proven that not only will diving into food not make our problems go away, but also it will lead us to weight gain, high blood sugar and lipid levels (increasing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease) and make us even more frustrated.
How can this be countered? The main action is to solve the problem that triggers our emotions, face and overcome them, perhaps with the help of a specialist. Some tips to avoid giving in to the stimulus of nervous hunger are:
- No junk food at home. If it isn’t there, we can’t eat it. Snacks, biscuits, chips, and candies are the most coveted foods during a nervous hunger attack, precisely because they “pamper” us and send a stimulus of well-being to our brain. We should go shopping with a full stomach and a list of healthy foods to buy, without falling into temptation;
- If you really have to give in, let it be healthy food. If you just can’t do without food, let’s then focus on quality. During hunger attacks we can eat vegetables (possibly raw) and fruit. They will not give us the same satisfaction but they will have a lower caloric intake and calories rich in nutrients (minerals, vitamins and antioxidants). And they will increase the sense of satiety;
- Find a valid ally in nature to restore the balance of your emotions:
- Saffron: useful for the mood
- Magnesium: contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and to normal psychological function
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): contributes to normal psychological function, the normal functioning of the nervous system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and to normal psychological function in addition to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Find a different relief valve. You can channel your emotions into writing, painting or music. If art is not part of your personality, one of the best ways to vent your feelings is physical activity and sport. In this way, you would convert an emotional stimulus that would throw you headlong into food (making you gain weight), into an activity that makes you release tensions (keeping you fit);
- Relax your mind. While sport allows us to relieve tension, meditation activities, yoga or pilates can help us manage strong emotions, removing them from us.
You have to be able to engage your mind enough to overcome the moment of nervous hunger. And who knows if these activities do not become a pleasant habit capable of giving us joy and serenity, even outside the moments of particular nervousness and weakness.