Are You an Emotional Eater?

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Often, people turn to food for comfort during times of stress, anger or sadness. However, if you are eating for emotional reasons and not because you are physically hungry, there may be a problem.

Some of the signs of being an emotional eater are:

  • Eating without hunger
  • Eating until you are uncomfortable or stuffed

Many people believe that emotional eating is due to a lack of self-control, but this is not the case. There has been extensive research to prove that emotional eating is actually an eating disorder.

The five top things that contribute to emotional eating are:

  1. Unawareness – Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why you are eating. Unconscious eating is defined as continuing to eat when you have finished your meal and continue to pick at it, slowly eating the remaining portion that you intended to leave behind.
  2. Food as your only pleasure – Do not use food as a reward after a long and hectic day.  Although the calming, soothing affects you may feel when you eat ice cream or potato chips are real, due to the opioids they release in our brain, they are a difficult habit to break.
  3. Inability to tolerate difficult feelings –When you do not have the ability to tolerate life’s inevitable bad feelings, you are susceptible to emotional eating.  Practice letting yourself experience difficult feelings and keeping in mind that feeling mad, sad, rejected or bored, doesn’t change anything.
  4. Body loathing – Hating your body is one of the biggest factors in emotional eating.  You have to stop hating your body before you can stop emotional eating.
  5. Physiology – The best way to leave yourself open to emotional eating is to wait until you are too tired or hungry to eat.  When we are too tired or hungry, the body sends strong messages to your brain that signal it to eat, leaving us with an inability to fight off cravings or urges.

In addition these tips listed above, it is always a good practice to eat several small meals during the day and get plenty of sleep. Emotional eating is a cycle that cannot be broken until you make a commitment to reach deep inside yourself to make a change.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.