Can You Really Break Up A Connection Between Eating And Loneliness?

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Feeling lonely is definitely up there with being one of the worst feelings a human can have. The feeling of being isolated from others can be harrowing, especially if there are human relations around the person but these do not fulfil their social needs. Being lonely can lead people to indulge in foods for comfort, often aptly named comfort foods and comfort eating. This consumption behaviour is largely not done in front of others but in private due to a person feeling self-conscious and can eventually lead to a full-scale case of overeating where a person becomes lodged in a vicious cycle of eating to comfort themselves, gaining weight, feeling low as a result, isolating themselves, and eating more so the cycle continues.

At this stage, the issue of overeating somewhat overtakes that of feeling lonely as an individual grows increasingly self-conscious of their weight. They may compare themselves to thinner people especially on social media which is one of the worst platforms for people with these feelings. They’ll feel more isolated and inadequate but continue to eat to comfort these feelings. The more a person feels badly about their body image and eating habits, paradoxically, the more they eat. It’s an invisible problem which affects many in society, but which is often not discussed due to the fact those concerned want the outside world to believe that they are fine, even when they’re not. This in turn means they might not reach out for help for fear of judgement, or worse, rejection. They may also seek instant gratification and results and end up beat themselves up over not seeing the pounds drop off.

This is a dangerous and self-sabotaging cycle for a person to get in which can be both deeply distressing and cause long-term health issues. What can be done about it?

  1. It’s important to realise that you’re not inadequate for not being the same size as the models that you see on Instagram, Facebook and all over the internet. It’s important to love the body you’re in and appreciate that you’re happy and healthy. This is a crucial step to breaking out of the chain of overeating caused by loneliness as it makes an individual love the skin they’re in so they are less likely to want to overeat and more likely to respect their bodies.
  2. It’s key that people reach out to loved ones, friends, family or seek professional help if necessary while not being afraid of the repercussions. Breaking out of any toxic relationship, whether friendly or intimate, is also an important step in recognising one’s worth. There is nothing worse than feeling lonely when surrounded by people which is a sure sign that a social situation is not fulfilling your needs.
  3. Hormones also play a huge role here. This is because by eating foods high in fat and sugar and having a diet that contains too many animal products, you can cause your hormone levels to go a bit haywire. This in turn has a direct influence on your behaviour and can make you feel rundown, tired and irritable. Having a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables thankfully has the opposite effect. Studies have shown that eating the right ones can actually boost your happiness and fight the depression which can stem from the cycle of loneliness and overeating. These include bananas, asparagus, tomatoes, and berries. The good news is the change in your mood and body occurs relatively quickly for those keen to see instant results.