Do you ever feel like you can't stop eating? Even when you're not hungry, you find yourself reaching for a snack or digging into a big plate of food? You're not alone. Actually, there are millions of people just like you.
Just recently, Lyger Coffee partnered with Galleria Duemila, the longest-running commercial art gallery in the Philippines. Galleria Duemila presented a solo exhibition from the visual artist Celline Mercado entitled "Somehow, I can't stop eating."
Celline Mercado's exhibition explores the emotional connection we have with food. Her artwork expresses the despair and hope that comes with our relationship to food. Whether we're trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain our current weight, food is always a central part of our lives. And often, our emotions can significantly affect how we eat.
Lyger Coffee's partnership with Galleria Duemila brings this important topic to light. In this article, we'll explore our emotional connection to food to better understand our eating habits and how to make healthier choices. So, keep scrolling!
Emotions and binge-eating
Two factors that people tie to eating are happiness and stress.
When we're happy, our brains associate the emotion with eating, and we then want to continue eating to prolong that happiness. This can be dangerous because it can lead to overeating, which can lead to obesity or other health issues.
'Fishmonger I' by Celline Mercado, 2022
On the other hand, when you're stressed out, your brain also associates food with alleviating stress, so it's likely that if you have a stressful day at work, you'll end up getting hungry at some point during the day and may find yourself reaching for something tasty before dinner time rolls around.
While this is not terrible on its own--sometimes we all need a little pick-me-up.
The most popular comfort food to date is coffee. Many people use coffee as a way to cope with stress. For some, brewing a cup of latte or americano is therapeutic and can help to clear their mind. The caffeine in coffee can also help to increase alertness and focus, which can be beneficial when tackling a stressful situation. While coffee may not be the solution for everyone, it can help many people better manage their stress levels.
Suppose you constantly turn to food when you're stressed out about something else in your life (or even for no reason at all). In that case, it's essential for you to not only recognise but also challenge this habit of yours by thinking about what else might help alleviate those negative emotions instead of just turning toward food every time they come knocking!
Memories are attached to food.
Some of us have memories so attached to eating that we can't eat a particular food without feeling the same emotion from when we've eaten that food in the past.
For example, let's say you remember that your best friend made you a cake on your birthday when you were growing up. You loved the cake and eating it was an exciting part of your day. Now, when you eat cake anywhere at any time in adulthood (even if it's not your birthday), some part of you associates this food with happiness and celebration—therefore, eating it becomes a positive experience.
'Birthday Girl' by Celline Mercado, 2022
Another example would be if someone had an unpleasant experience with a particular type of food or ingredient in their childhood—like spinach—and then later experiences something similar as an adult (like green beans). Because we build up these emotional attachments from our younger years into our adult lives, this could cause them to avoid vegetables altogether!
Tips on how to control your eating habits:
If you're struggling with your eating habits, there are a few things you can do to try to regain control.
- Make sure you're eating regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later on in the day.
- Try to eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you're eating and how it makes you feel. This will help you be more aware of your food choices and make better decisions about what to eat.
- Avoid trigger foods. If there are certain foods that you know lead you to overeat, try to avoid them or eat them in moderation.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. If you slip up and overeat, don't beat yourself up. Just get back on track with your healthy eating habits and keep trying.
Coffee as a go-to beverage
Coffee is such a go-to for people who are happy or stressed because it's easy to make and can be enjoyed anywhere. It's also a socially acceptable beverage, so it's not uncommon for people to drink coffee with others as a way to bond or relax. Additionally, the caffeine in coffee can help to improve mood and focus, which can be helpful when dealing with stress. Ultimately, everyone has their own coping mechanisms for happiness and stress, but coffee is definitely one of the most popular (and delicious) options!
'Interim (Hot Summer Day)' by Celline Mercado, 2022
With some effort, you can improve your relationship with food and develop healthier eating habits. Just take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself. You'll get there eventually.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you find yourself emotional eating? Is coffee also your go-to beverage?
We'd love to hear from you in the comments! Lyger Coffee is always looking for ways to start meaningful conversations, and we hope this article will do just that.
Celline Mercado’s solo exhibition is available for viewing until July 22, 2022, at the Galleria Duemila Main Gallery. Feel free to stop by or you can also view her artworks here!