Why Do Loneliness and Hungry Go Together?

Olaf cupcake

Olaf cupcake

For some reason, certain emotions seem to be linked together more often than others. Happiness and relaxation, sadness and tiredness, stress and irritability.

Another pair that I often link is loneliness and hungry. When I am lonely, I get hungry often. This does not seem uncommon from what I can tell. Others seem to eat when they are lonely or feel unloved.

Why is it that these two are linked? It seems very strange. However, it kind of makes sense. We want to fill the gap that is inside ourselves. Food substitutes for the people that we need.

This can be a dangerous road of over-eating and binges. Yet, being aware of this connection is the first step. Recognizing why one wants to eat is important. Are you really hungry or just using food to fill an emotional gap?

I want to eat because I am hungry and not because of my emotions. This is hard but certainly not impossible.


7 thoughts on “Why Do Loneliness and Hungry Go Together?

  1. Rachel says:

    I eat when I’m bored, primarily. If I’m busy, I don’t think about eating and I can go ages without eating and not realise unless I’ve scheduled meals in, but when I travel especially, then I overeat because I’m bored.

    There are a couple of foods that I like when I’m upset, mostly involving cheese, but I think I’m getting a little better at not eating them when I’m sad or anxious, because cheese (well, milk) makes me really sick.

  2. I believe it has to do with oxycodone being released by your body when you eat sweets like chocolate. It also helos you blood sugar which makes you feel better for a while.
    In states of sadness and depression there is too low of a level of dopamine and oxycodone. People that are depressed on an on-going basis do not make enough of these chemicals in general, and do not enjoy even simple pleasures as well as other people do.

    The body craves the release of the chemicals and eating sweets is a quick fix.

    It is amazing how your brain and body are intertwined with the chemicals that are released and the amount of dopamine.

  3. helps…..not helos…..sorry for the typo

  4. Amy says:

    This is so true! I wonder how much of it is innate, and how much is cultural? In most cultures, social gatherings centre on food (Christmas lunch, Eid, even just “let’s meet up for lunch / dinner / a drink”), so socialising and food go together for most people. Can it be that we feel we’re missing one when we really miss the other because of that connection?

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