Emotion and MindEating anxiety: symptoms, causes, how to control and reduce it

Eating anxiety: symptoms, causes, how to control and reduce it

Anxiety when eating manifests itself through anxiety about food. Or what is the same, compulsive eating. Know the symptoms of anxiety when eating and how to control it.

Although it is possible that many people may think otherwise, the truth is that anxiety, under normal conditions, is a defense mechanism that helps us improve our performance and activate ourselves.

It is even considered as a historical defense mechanism, which appeared in our ancestors as a mechanism to help them mobilize when, for example, they had to flee from a wild animal or an enemy.

However, at the current moment in which we develop our daily life, anxiety has become a real problem, which generally exceeds the limits that frame it as a defense mechanism, appearing in other situations that have nothing to do with those that they should activate us to mobilize us.

In fact, it is common that one of its main causes is stress, nervousness and excess problems. Although there are several symptoms of anxiety, the truth is that it can also manifest itself through compulsive eating.

What is anxiety when eating and why does it appear?

The anxiety eating is a way by which the anxiety tends to manifest itself, at which the anxious person eats compulsively as a way of trying to reduce the basic symptoms of anxiety.

Although anxiety disorder is considered one of the most common mental disorders in accidental countries, the truth is that you have very different ways of manifesting itself.

Some people can feel nervous and stressed in certain situations. While others, as we have indicated, tend to eat compulsively trying to reduce that nervousness or tension through food.

How to identify anxiety when eating?

To identify anxiety when eating, and help you know whether or not you suffer from anxiety when eating, it is advisable that you ask yourself the following basic questions:

  • Do you binge eat when you feel anxious and nervous?
  • Do you eat when you have stress?
  • Do you think you eat compulsively?

What are the health effects of having anxiety while eating?

There are studies that show that when a person suffers from anxiety when eating, it is more common for them to tend to eat unhealthy or unhealthy products or foods, rich in calories and sugars, since it is ultimately what the body asks of them.

It is common for people with this disorder to eat more industrial pastries, cookies or chocolate, and binge heavily. Which in turn puts their health at risk, since they are more likely to be overweight and obese.

How to solve anxiety when eating and how to control it?

To solve anxiety when eating, the main key is to identify what worries us and that leads us to binge eat. It may also be one or many concerns. Perhaps it is fear or fear of the future, or facing situations that we do not know and that cause us fear.

Once the focus of your concern is located, the fundamental thing is to try to channel it progressively.

Generally, the most appropriate thing, if we cannot control that anxiety by ourselves, is to go to a psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders, who will help us to treat and solve our problem easily and simply.

  • When you have anxiety, avoid excitements. It is advisable that you reduce the consumption of beverages such as coffee or tea, and of food products such as sugar. It is better that you replace them with relaxing infusions, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Get physical exercise. In addition to being an extremely healthy and essential option to enjoy good health, it is ideal not only to recharge your batteries, but also to de-stress.
  • Eat calmly and seated. Eat 5 meals a day, try to chew each bite slowly and thoroughly, and eat while sitting down. Do not be in a hurry when it comes to eating, because that will lead you to eat more, badly and also excessively.
  • Eat satisfying foods. They will help you increase the feeling of fullness and reduce your appetite.
  • Practice some natural therapy such as relaxation or meditation. Knowing how to learn to relax can help.
  • Take relaxing infusions.

How to reduce anxiety about food?

In addition to the tips to control anxiety when eating that we have already given you, below we are going to indicate some tips to reduce anxiety about food, as long as you consider that these tips or tricks may be useful (otherwise, especially if you are facing a serious anxiety disorder, our recommendation is that you go to a specialist to help you treat the problem):

  • Cut back on exciting beveragesExciting beverages like coffee or tea tend to exacerbate the problem as they tend to increase your appetite. The best thing is to reduce their consumption or eliminate them from our day to day until the anxiety disappears.
  • Increase the frequency of meals: as many nutritionists maintain, it is better to eat 5 times a day than 3, since in this way we can increase the frequency of meals and avoid arriving very hungry to the next meal. It should be distributed in: breakfast, lunch, lunch, snack and dinner.
  • Reduce or eliminate less healthy foods: it is known that those who follow a diet based on the habitual consumption of sweets, pastries and unhealthy foods tend to maintain this diet in the long term, with the risks that this entails for their health.  Therefore, the key is to replace these foods with healthier and lower-calorie foods.


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