How to control hunger due to anxiety

How to control hunger due to anxiety

The author Pearl Buck announced one day that "hunger makes every man a thief". But the lack of food is not only able to push Man to fly to eat: it is also associated with certain psychological conditions. It is for this reason that the control of hunger due to anxiety is so difficult.

Anxiety problems can affect many aspects of life. They can even push us to adopt unhealthy eating habits. Many patients consulting a dietitian actually hide some emotional alteration.

Why does anxiety make us eat

Emotional eating translates into a state of motivation that drives the individual to eat. In this case, a person suffering from anxiety does not eat because of the need to eat. Ingesting food allows us to feel good, more relaxed, because in doing so, some neurotransmitters are emitted, such as dopamine.

However, this well-being is often transient. Once the ingestion is over, the feeling of guilt makes its appearance. In reality, the reward received by the food is very short. In the medium and long term, eating compulsively causes distress and possibly more anxiety.

In fact, food often causes more negative effects in anxious people. This is due to the fact that in distress states, nWe generally opt for unhealthy foods, which alters and complicates the situation.

The main problem is that states of anxiety can not be solved by eating. Trying to calm the anxiety with the food ends up making the situation worse in most cases. The problem is much more complex and it is often caused by:

  • A weak emotional management capacity. It is common and often linked to the concealment of negative emotions that socially are not well received. However, the inability to manage our own emotions can lead us to want to avoid them and the food is then seen as a temporal "solution" to this problem.
  • Excessive self-control If we try to suppress our excessive cravings for eating, we can cause the opposite effect and the supposed solution will then cause the problem to get worse.
  • Food as a source of unique pleasure. If well-being is achieved only through food, it is easy to end up eating compulsively. This behavior could end up becoming an addiction if it is not controlled.

"Man wins everything except hunger."


Learn to control hunger due to anxiety

Once the possible causes have been identified and to learn how to control hunger due to anxiety, it is important to know how to differentiate it. What are we talking about? Hunger, of course. If we know the characteristics of one or the other, we can identify the problem and propose a solution.

Hunger due to anxiety is sudden

In this case, hunger usually appears suddenly and very intensively; it provokes in us an enormous difficulty of resistance. If we feel that it presents itself in an unexpected way, and that it is more generated by our mind than by our own stomach; be careful ! This hunger is not felt by necessity. She invites us to eat for pure pleasure associated with representations of "junk food" until being satiated. If you give in and eat, then you will feel guilty and will feel uncomfortable.

To fight hunger due to anxiety, it will be necessary to learn to identify these situations. Think about whether you have suffered from any event that may have affected you emotionally, whether at work, with a friend, in your family, etc.

If you know how to identify these situations, you can avoid emotional eating more effectively. On the contrary, it is easier to succumb to these when they are unconscious or when we become aware of these situations when it is too late.

Manage your emotions

As we mentioned, suppressing our emotions, although it may sound socially acceptable, is a mistake. Negative emotions are part of our being and we must accept them as such and share or express them as necessary.

By learning to manage our emotions, both negative and positive, we will realize that our level of anxiety will decrease. The tension and the distress will thus diminish and the desire to eat also.


We know it's easy to say, but we need to relax in moments of high anxiety before losing control. If we do not allow ourselves to explode in states of anxiety, we will improve a lot. How? Several techniques allow us to calm our state.

"Hunger and love maintain solidarity with the world's factory."

-Friedrich Schiller-

In addition, it is important to sleep well and for at least 7 hours a night, to seek alternative rewards, to exercise, to have good hydration and to take care of the mind. with activities such as reading. Thus, it will be much easier to control hunger due to anxiety. But if you can not, do not hesitate to seek the help of a professional.

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