Feeling Fat after Eating Junk Food – Is It Normal?
Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Ever enjoyed a yummy pizza or delicious burger only to feel guilty? Do you start feeling fat after eating junk food? Every time you eat junk food, you feel you want to stop, but it is very difficult to control yourself? Well, let us understand why this happens.
This article will explain the relationship between eating food and feeling fat. Not only this, but it will also tell you the relationship between eating junk food and feeling fat. You will understand if there is a difference between these two situations and how to handle your feelings after eating food.
In this article, you will come across some important terms which will help you understand the article better.
- Feeling fat – It is a thought where you feel you have put on weight and do not look good.
- Junk food – This is food that is not good for your health. This type of food is quick to prepare and sometimes ready to eat.
- Stress eating – Eating food when you are anxious rather than hungry is known as stress eating.
- Guilt after eating – When you feel you have done something wrong by eating a certain food or eating too much food.
- Body Image – This is the perception we have about our own body. These thoughts are negative and make us dislike the way we look.
Why Are You Feeling Fat after Eating?
Now and then we feel fat when we eat food. But what happens when you feel fat after every meal? Is there a connection between feeling fat after eating? There could be a few reasons why this becomes a common feeling after eating your food. While there may genuinely be physical changes, sometimes it is more of a mindset. Let us understand how the mind perceives your body when you eat food.
- Every time you look into the mirror, you criticize all your flaws
- People close to you have commented that you look fat
- As a child, you were made fun of for being healthy
- You see other people who eat the same amount but don’t put on weight
- Every time you eat, you feel guilt
- You compare yourself to models and this stresses you out.
While “feeling fat” is a commonly used expression by a lot of people after eating, there is a big difference between physical and emotional fat. What we will be focusing on today is feeling emotionally fat after eating. People associate fat with negative feelings, even when they are perfectly healthy. “Fat” can be a very personal judgment we make of ourselves, and hence it can be difficult to break this cycle.
What Is the Relationship between Feeling Fat after Eating Junk Food?
Now let us look at how you feel after eating junk food. If we ask you which option would you choose – Salad or pizza? We are sure most of you will like to have a delicious pizza. However, the bottom line is pizza is high in sodium and trans-fat. Both these are bad for your health. It is interesting to understand that when we eat a high sodium diet, our body retains water. This is why even if pizzas, fries, and burgers are delicious, we start feeling fat after eating junk food.
Is It Normal to Always Feel This Way?
The answer to this question lies in asking yourself what you have eaten. Have you eaten healthy homemade food or burger and fries? Many of you may say “I feel fat no matter what I eat”. If this is your thought process, we want you to take a moment and ask yourself why you feel this way all the time. Let us go back to your childhood and think of situations where you were criticized for the way you looked. Does this still affect you? How do you feel now about this? Are there any negative emotions that you feel when you think of your childhood? If this is where you start feeling fat after eating – it is not normal and you should seek help. However, if you have been eating junk food almost every day and put on weight, then you need to make healthier choices and lifestyle changes.
How Do Handle These Feelings?
“Feeling fat” can be a constant, persistent, and sometimes overwhelming thought. People who have this thought are always negative about how they look. They also avoid eating food, go on strict diets and keep checking their weights. However, despite doing all this they continue feeling fat after eating junk food.
In this section, we will discuss some simple ways in which you can make changes in your lifestyle and deal with these negative thoughts.
Be Aware of Your Feelings
To get to the bottom of the thought, you need to understand your relationship with food. Take a notebook and write down how you perceive food. Is it something you enjoy or hate? If you hate food and are scared of every piece making you fat, you need to seek help.
Change This “Do or Die” Outlook
If you indulge in your favorite cheat meal on a rare occasion, how do you feel? Just because you ate an extra slice of pizza or had ice cream or your favorite chocolate cake, it is not the end of the world.
Unfortunately, people see this as a do-or-die outlook and start hating their bodies. This can be very damaging to not only the body but also the mind. Having such an extreme outlook on life can get very frustrating and stop you from enjoying life.
Instead, work on repairing your relationship with food. If you start feeling fat after eating, evaluate your food choices. Choose healthy food instead of unhealthy options.
Do a Social Detox
Many times, your “feeling fat” thought arises out of comparing yourself with others. People see a model with a “perfect” body getting millions of likes and wonder why they don’t look that way. This comparison can cause a lot of damage to how you look and feel.
It is important to stop comparing yourself to others. No two people are the same and hence it is important to remember that you are unique with beautiful features which are different from others.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still find it difficult to get rid of these “ negative ” thoughts. As a result of this, you may guilt eat or stress eat, which further strengthens your thought of feeling fat after eating. It is important to break this cycle and work towards a healthy mind and body. Enrolling in our self-help course “Body Image Concerns” will help you change this negative thought and work on having a healthy relationship with your body.