boredom, depression, anger or frustration. For example the "I'm hungry mummy", whingeing child who only feels that way whenever they see or hear the fridge door opening, or when the TV ads for food have come on, or when they pass by a lolly shop. It is also evident in adults as the time-addicted habit such as the regular 10 am morning tea and biscuits syndrome - "I just couldn't get through the day without my morning cuppa". If such people are away from their usual habitat, (notice the word habitat ....... a place of habits) they crack up, or they go and eat anything they get their hands on, just to fill the imaginary hole!
Another cause of compulsive, impulsive, emotional eating is the uprising of uncomfortable gut feelings such as fear, excitement coupled with impatience, anger, boredom, sadness, loneliness, bewilderment, and others. All these feelings are common in the early months of new mothering when routine can be non-existent and the emotions are frequently up and down. In these instances, food serves as a dampener to suppress the energy of the digestive system, and thereby the emotional discomfort goes away (temporar-ily).
What is the difference between the experi-ence of starving, truly hungry, people of famine-stricken countries, and the obese, perpetually consuming, and yet still hungry, children of our Western cultures? There must be a better and more accurate term for their so-called hunger than that. Surely it is not the same experience. This "emotional-juvenile-hunger" is the type which grows into the unconscious and perpetual adult "snacker " who, once they're in control of their own fridge as an adult, can help themself at every whim without conscience. By then, there will be no mechanism of appetite left and the stomach just becomes a dumping pit for the malcontent of their physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual stresses.
The best indicator of when to eat, is when both appetite and real hunger are in agreement. Then go for it! Eat for what you are going to do, not for what you've been doing. One should eat the necessary food before the busy actions and energy output of the day. If you've worked hard all day on little food, come home tired and hungry, to eat a big evening meal, sit and watch a bit of TV, and then go to bed and sleep for 8 hours, that's stupid. This will only make for a heavy night's sleep, a heavy feeling on awakening, constipation first thing in the morning, little or no breakfast, little or no lunch, a big dinner in the evening and the cycle repeats itself. Sounds like a
pretty common modern lifestyle syndrome, doesn't it?
The awakening, high energy morning's work, needs the good breakfast. Lunch is the peak of the body's temperature and output. The evening meal should be just enough for a top-up till breakfast. The only way to break unnatural cycles is to eat before your energy outputs.
When low in energy - DON'T EAT.
This is the most important thing to remem-ber just before every meal. This is a very simple idea but the most hard to carry out. Most people tend to eat when their energy is depleted. But this is an emotional need, not a physical need. Don't be misled by the old cliché - that "food gives us energy". That's a childish understanding of something far more complex.
Food does give us energy, but only quality food, in the right quantities, at the right times and going through a body which can assimilate the nutrients out of that food for further metabolic gain. Low grade food, eaten at a time of low digestive energy, going into a blocked up body, takes more energy and more time to digest and be eliminated. This slows down the passage of food through the GIT, pollutes the system and causes what is called auto-toxaemia, or self-poisoning.
Eating and digestion actually take energy to transform food into useful body chemicals. If you eat and live, but your energy is consistently low, then digestion is sucking more out of you than your food is putting in. Overeating, sucks energy away from acting and thinking, merely to support its own digestion.
Low external expression of energy equates with high inner tension, be it physical or mental. Those tensions or internal conflicts, just buzz around inside causing compulsive eating and lower energy. If you believe the conventional wisdom and eat when tired or low energy, thinking that it will "pick you up", the cycle just perpetuates itself. To break the cycle - STOP EATING.
According to yoga, within us we have untold potential to activate stored prana or energy. Prana is stored in the body fat and can be stimulated by physical or mental means. When low in energy, there is a blockage in the distribution of that energy - not a shortage at the mouth. Therefore eating food is not the answer. To get that energy flowing again in the right way and in the right places, you have to stimulate it to get it going. The correct way to do this is to use the natural instincts of real hunger and real appetite as triggers. The keys to doing this are: