Attachment to food

- Health theory #3 -

People can be attached to someone or something, like to family members, to a best friend, to a partner they love but it can be true about pets, material objects, adrenaline provoking situations, different stimulants (coffee and cigarette most commonly) and in the end: about foods as well.

Going back to the roots, the existence of attachment probably stems from our earliest stage of life: when we were babies. Being attached to our parents, to our mother in the first place is an instinctual habit because we, humans, would simply die without having at least one person who takes care of us in our early life. We also need to go through a successful social and emotional development with the help of this person. Some kind of attachment pattern also has helped individuals and groups to survive evolutionarily when formed close relationships and stayed in a beneficial, comfortable environment. So, we can say that emotional attachment in some ways is part of our humanity in a natural, biological way.

By focusing on only one attachement type among the many, let's move to emotional eating. Emotional eating is quite a new phenomenon which arrived with the modern era, especially in the western part of the world. It was probably a non-existing phenomenon during world wars. Even today, one in nine people on Earth is still starving while I am writing about the problem of emotional eating in Central Europe! Quite a shame but let's consider emotional eating as a curse of our safe well-being since we don't need to worry about getting enough food, only about how to stay fit when too much is available. 

It's a fact that most people are attached to foods somehow. In Hungary, for example, Sunday lunch when the whole family is eating together is a tradition which is impossible to be desecrate in some households. And not just in Hungary but all over the world Eastern, Christmas, Thanksgiving (we don't celebrate the latter but I have watched enough American movies) are all mainly about eating. But anyway... When there's a wedding or a graduation ceremony or a holiday, eating will always be the main part of the event. It goes without saying that eating is instinctive by satisfying almost the most fundamental bodily need but at the other hand, we are getting on a cultural, significantly unnecessary psychological eating urge little by little that we don't have at our birth. I remember when I was a child, I did not really like eating but all of my relatives and parents of friends tried to stuff me with food. When I refused it, I was told I should see a doctor and take medicines to improve my appetite. To sum it up, emotional eating is simply something we develop, not what we basically have.

I have a lot of acquaintances who can handle their cravings quite well but I do know the other side of the coin too - me myself have had a sweet tooth for a long time. I loved eating chocolate, ice-cream, jelly sweets, biscuits - just to name a few... but I dare to say I overcame it. My story in a nutshell: sweet tooth --> chocolate (yum, yum) --> stomach ache --> healing --> more chocolate --> no healing --> weight loss, no energy, etc. --> lifesytle change --> happiness. I have some before-after photos from this period but I am not the kind of person who loves to share them on social media (either on my blog) to get bigger attention but who knows, maybe that day will arrive too.

To overcome emotional eating, we have to come to the realisation that we 'suffer' of it. By ignoring it and lying to ourselves we just worsen our situation. To clarify the expression 'emotional eating', I don't think you should never eat even a piece of pastry but if you turn to food for comfort frequently although you're quite/a bit overweight; or think about eating all the time, you should admit that you soothe something but not your hunger. If you are aware of it, you will be able to help yourself. Being conscious about it is not easy, though. Your perception can be influenced by your environment and your own mind (ego) but one day you might 'awaken'.

I have studied some method on overcoming emotional eating online and found some interesting technical advice. Many websites recommend acupuncture, a special EFT process or meditation which may work for you but I do think that firstly you should arrange the problem of emotional eating in your mind to some extent.

Despite your efforts, food attachment as every single attachment, will surely show up again and again but if you remove it by patience and without force, it won't be manifested as a kind of unbearable 'need'. You would simply be able to realise your food attachment then let it go.

In the end, I have some good news for you: you don't always need to block your cravings fully, you just have to replace bad foods with healthy foods: from the right type of foods you can eat as much as you want without any worry and remorse. Sounds good? Let's get some inspiration! :)

Thank you for reading. Join me on Facebook, maybe.


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