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Why emotional eating isn’t necessarily a bad thing

Does eating make you happy? If you eat food that tastes good to you, then the answer is a definite yes. Emotional eating has a bad reputation and association with eating disorders, but I wonder how many of us eat purely for function? The answer is zero.

Food can make us feel good for different reasons, it can taste good but it can also result in a positive emotional state if we feel good about the food choices we make. So even if we don’t necessarily love a food we’re eating, if we believe it’s good for us it can still make us feel good. So, is it the food itself that’s making us feel good? Or is it the positive emotions that are the result of the belief that a person is doing something good for themself? In my opinion it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the two because emotions are a reflection of the current state of being in every given moment. They are a composite of the overall state of the body including and probably mostly due to our current state of mind.

Almost every person I know, myself included, has eaten something and immediately noticed that they “don’t feel well”. However, what I’ve noticed in myself is that a lot of the not feeling well is strongly associated with feeling bad emotionally and especially feeling guilty because we’ve consumed something we believe wasn’t the right choice. It’s the chicken or the egg conundrum but this time it’s which came first.. The present mental emotional state? Or the chemistry that is associated with it?

(Science would say it is the chemistry, however, chemistry is affected by the thoughts we have and I do know that I have felt extremely unwell mostly due to my opinions of myself while eating certain foods. And unfortunately these opinions do affect the food's effect on your body.)

Is body chemistry affected by belief? It most definitely is, but the extent to which we are capable of influencing our physiology is still not known and since testing the limits would not be considered ethical, it is always safest to believe what science is presently showing is what’s best. But what I believe is that our bodies are a lot smarter than we often give them credit for, and that if we want to eat something, it IS because on some level we need it.

So give in to all your vegan cravings, if you can do it without feeling guilty. Follow your emotions when it comes to food choices so that you enjoy the food you’re eating, while knowing that your emotions are positively influencing your body’s state of wellbeing and health. It’s ok to enjoy vegan foods that taste good to you, as long as you believe it is.

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