As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
Together you and I will work as a team to accomplish all of your health needs and to ensure that you practice prevention and live your life through the lens of quality.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project
The answer to this question is an overwhelming YES! People eat for various reasons such as, hunger relief, to supress appetite, for pleasure and to feel better. The food industry also understands the emotional connection we have with food, and subsequently has taken advantage of this. The way the food is wrapped, how it smells, what it looks like, it’s level of sweet, salty and spice and its “mouth feel” can have an impact regarding how much of this product we consume at any given time. Our food choices are greatly impacted by emotional status and when and why we eat them certainly is as well. Have you ever felt like eating “comfort foods” when you are not feeling well? Do you eat certain foods when you are angry, sad or happy?
Typically, the assumption is that over-eating or binge eating may be related to negative emotional feelings but current findings have also shown that feel-good eating can also pack on the unwanted calories. Additionally, those folks who have a tendency towards emotional eating favour the intake of sweet foods. Have you eaten a ton of chocolate after a stressful event?
What about the link between stress, depression and unhealthy eating practices? Is there a definite link? The answer is a resounding YES! There is a great deal of research indicating the associated anxiety and depression caused by high levels of stress can directly lead to unhealthy eating behaviours. Not only that; but unhealthy eating behaviors, like binging and purging are quite commonly associated with many types of emotional feelings. Some of which include; a history of repeated dieting, fear of gaining weight and altered body image.
There is also a great deal of research on the link between emotional eating behavior and eating disorders. Eating disorders are very common, especially among younger women. This alarming statistic really removes all doubt as to the emotion connection to disordered eating behavior. Younger women have a great deal of pressure placed upon them to be thin and look a certain way. Their relationship with food can become dysfunctional quite early-on, with food serving as a reward system, then as a method of dealing with stress which can evolve into a binge-eating practice involving lower levels of self-compassion and acceptance.
Food addiction is also an area of food and nutritional research which has received a great deal of attention in the last decade. I believe this to be the case because food addiction is very common and can lead to unnecessary weight-gain, binge-eating and bulimia. Here is a topic I have written about previously and one in which the food industry is well-acquainted. The prevalence of food addiction in patients who are considering surgery to manage their obesity in some cases can be over 50%!