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Predicting The Connection Between Emotional Hunger and Maternal Love

Predicting The Connection Between Emotional Hunger and Maternal Love

The Connection Between Emotional Hunger and Maternal Love

By Oluseyi Elizabeth Odudimu



Emotional Eating (EE) as over-eating, irrespective of satiety, and in response to emotional states that are typically negative. In contrast to physical hunger which is a response to body signal when hunger sets in, those that experience emotional hunger are driven by the need to turn to food in order to avoid emotional matters or in some instances heighten a pleasurable one. Hence, emotional hunger is based on feelings rather than what the body needs or requires.


Maternal love is an essential component in the development of emotional life. It is a vital nutritional element of our physiological, psychological, or spiritual experiences. Individuals who lack maternal love in the early years of their life usually deal with emotional hunger in adulthood. As a matter of fact, absence of maternal love has been linked to criminality, e.g. the John Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory. Similarly, lack of maternal love is also linked to mental illness, as some research has indicated [ look for example]


Deficiency disease of the emotional life shape appetite for a deep need to be liked or loved as a restoration of maternal love. Some individuals will turn to food for emotional nourishment, while some will develop a rich and elaborate fantasy life. Indeed, when we talk about maternal love, the experiences of the child in the womb of the mother is also crucial to their emotional development. Research has also shown that lack of love during the period in which a child is in the womb can have effect on their emotional development and mental well-being.


Emotional eating can be as are result of the inner world filled with many old voices, fear of trusting oneself or being denied love, confusion, terrified of trusting their relationships with others for fear of being hurt, and habitually turning to the quick fix of food for comfort.


Some of the signs to recognize an emotional eater:

  • Feeling an urgent need to eat.
  • Eating at unusual times of the day or late at night.
  • Craving a specific food or type of food.
  • Feeling embarrassed or guilty about eating
  • Eating excessively than usual to respond to emotions or situations, not to satisfy hunger.
  • Sneaking food when you are highly stressed.
  • Constantly hiding empty containers of food.
  • Weight gain.


Maternal love is a vital nutritional element within the developing organism, and the healing journey can be long and painful. However, we encourage people with emotional hunger to follow some of the coping mechanisms below:


  • Name the range of different fits of hunger inside you and find ways of responding to their different needs. Take a walk, get a massage, or listen to music if you’re feeling anxious. If you’re worn out, make yourself a hot cup of tea, take a bath, put on some relaxing music, or get some rest by going to bed early. Read a nice book, watch a comedy show or engage in an enjoyable activity if you’re bored (woodworking, bowling, scrap booking, etc.)


  • Walking around parks. The tranquillity, severity of beauty and smells of nature can spark their imagination or help them feel inspired and renewed. Connection with this healthy part of nature can help them disconnect from their early experience.


  • Take some time to watch the light stream through the trees and catch a glimpse of blue as the kingfisher darts across the ponds.


  • Exercise more often, when your body is looked after, your appetite will be more regulated.


  • Talk with a trusted friend, family member, doctor, or counsellor about the emotions and how they affect primary social relationship.


  • Join a group that share similar interests such as music, dance, drama, etc. or any creative endeavour.



Mrs. Oluseyi Elizabeth Odudimu is a mental health advocate and the founder of the Stop Mental Illness Foundation. With a solid academic background, she has dedicated her life to raising awareness about mental health issues and providing support to individuals suffering from mental illness. Mrs. Odudimu is also a published author, mentor, and a loving mother and wife. Her tireless efforts have earned her numerous accolades and honors, making her a true role model and a beacon of hope for those affected by mental illness.

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