• Disha Kagdada

Ways to restore gut-health while overcoming emotional eating

Updated: Jul 29

EMOTIONAL EATING is defined as ‘Eating a large quantity of food in response to Internal cues that aren’t necessarily physical hunger.

It today's blog post, i will be sharing some insight into emotional eating, how it affects our gut health and what are some steps we can take to restore our gut health.


In most cases emotional eating isn’t about wanting to eat the food, it’s about how it makes you feel and what it allows you to escape from. If we don’t know how to recognise, accept and respond to our feelings then we can believe that we are powerless to change.

Often emotional eating happens in the form of binge eating, where you feel that you are out of control and are unable to stop eating even though you’re not hungry. If this happens you are likely to eat faster than normal and may hardly even taste the food- you’re just desperate to eat more and more.


Emotional eating is frequently done in 'secret' or when you eat alone. It is often tied to craving a certain kind of foods - sweet, salty, or fatty. After eating you may feel happy and satisfied, but it’s more likely that you may feel guilt or other negative emotions.


In most cases emotional eating isn’t about wanting to eat the food, it’s about how it makes you feel and what it allows you to escape from. If we don’t know how to recognise, accept and respond to our feelings then we can believe that we are powerless to change.

EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL EATING ON GUT HEALTH.

Now let’s look at how emotional eating affects our physical health or more importantly our gut health.


  • When emotional eating episodes occur we consume large quantities of the same kind of foods which includes either sugar, hydrogenated-fat or salt and very little fibre.

  • Our guts may become increasingly stressed with too much of the same kind of food and gut microbiome/the good bacteria may get impacted

  • These changes may cause changes in our hunger, desire, metabolism, and satiety upon eating.

  • This further contribute to Gut dysbiosis/Gut imbalance which can lead to a severe eating disorder, anxiety, and depression.

  • As a result of the gut imbalance a wide range of digestive disturbance symptoms occurs, including diarrhoea, cramping, constipation, bloating, and indigestion and lead to weight gain obesity.


Abnormal brain behaviours can reinforce abnormal gut bacteria and vice versa. These changes to the brain and gut often coexist and reinforce eating disorder behaviour. The link between food and our emotions becomes a problem when we try to self-medicate with food all the time, in large quantities and when we haven’t dealt with the emotions, issues and situations that are underlying our cravings to eat.

In my approach of working with clients who emotionally eat, the approach I use takes into account both mind and gut function. The first step is to identify the triggers, understand the relationship with food, and understand what brings up the emotional eating episodes. While that is being worked on, we slowly incorporate steps required to balance the gut microbiome.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BALANCE THE GUT MICROBIOME


Your gut microbiota can turn over in 3 days or so because bacteria have a short life cycle. What you eat changes the composition of your microbiota. So, if you can override your specific cravings, you can effectively rebuild your microbiota in just a few days. O