Emotional Eating And How to Overcome It

Reviewed: August 29, 2013
By eHealthIQ
Emotional Eating And How to Overcome It

Emotional eating is a condition that is often brushed off as not being as serious as it is. It affects millions of people, and it can cause obesity quickly and at a young age. Here are a few things you didn’t know about emotional eating and how to overcome the condition.

It’s Caused By Stress

Stress is a major trigger for developing an emotional-eating problem. Stress can suppress appetite in the short term, but in the long term it boosts appetite because you have already been starving. The brain craves foods that will make it happy, and this is usually fatty and sugary foods. The cycle triggers emotional eating that can lead to binging and more serious problems. You can stop the cycle by identifying the reasons you are craving bad foods. Then you don’t reward your brain when it’s caused by stress.

It’s Not Just For Women

People wrongfully assume that it’s a condition that only hurts women. Women and men can both develop emotional eating, and it’s a vicious cycle for both. Men are less likely to seek treatment though, and that can cause serious implications for them. Men who emotional eat are better off getting treatment if the condition has lasted for awhile. Men and women can both identify their reasons for emotional eating in a journal to keep track of eating patterns.

Few People Seek Support

People often believe that their condition isn’t real. They don’t believe it actually causes the problems it causes. This denial is harmful and dangerous to those who are suffering. Seek support if you are emotionally eating. It will help you get better quickly and regain a new way of living and eating.

Boredom Is A Trigger

Boredom triggers emotional eating that can lead to gaining weight and diabetes. If you’re bored and find yourself picking up food, try to cultivate other interests. Learn a new skill or hobby. Get involved in something that will be more interesting than eating. It’s hard to train your brain to think this way, but it’s the best way to overcome emotional-eating problems.

Conclusion

Emotional eating hurts people in different ways. Some people are emotional eaters their entire life. Other people are less likely to seek help. It’s important to identify, deconstruct and construct behaviors that will help you achieve full health and wellness. It can be a big hurdle at first, but it’s possible to get over it and have a healthy food outlook.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2012/February/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat
http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthlibrary/related/doc.php?type=1&id=4517

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