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What is Emotional Eating?

Emotional Eating

Many of us may not be aware of the fact that we might be suffering from what is known as emotional eating. It is a disorder where we start consuming large quantities of food (usually junk food) as a means to satisfy “feelings” instead of hunger. It is indeed very disturbing to note that more than 75% of overeating is caused due to such emotional disturbances.

Most of us are aware of the fact that eating can bring in mental, physical and emotional comfort in the short term. So, quite often when we are suffering from an emotional problem, we often turn to eating to get out of such emotionally disturbing situations. Over a period of time, this becomes a regular habit and it also prevents us from learning ways and means by which we can get over these emotional problems.

Emotional EatingThere could be many reasons for such emotional eating disorders. A person could suffer from boredom, loneliness, depression, anxiety, uncontrollable anger, stress, frustration and inter-personal relationship problem. People with low self esteem also often go into this kind of unnatural eating habits and they start putting on weight that is unwanted to say the least.

The best way to handle this situation is to find out the triggers that cause such emotional disturbances. Once this is identified, it becomes easier for us to come out the right techniques and methods to manage our emotions better. This will over a period of will stop us for overeating and food and weight will be removed from such and equation. However, before we actually get to the root of the problem, it is important for us to identify the trigger which caused such situations. Based on experience and a lot of research such emotional triggers and situations can be generally classified into five major categories. They are social, emotional, situational, thoughts and physiological.

Let us look at each of these potential causes of emotional eating:


It is quite possible that when you are in social situations, you could get into overeating just because others are encouraging you to eat.


If you are suffering from a sense of inferiority complex when in a group of people, you could try to overcome it by eating much beyond what is actually needed for your body.


Emotional eating is caused mainly because you want to respond to situations such as tension, stress, fatigue, anger, anxiety and other such emotional state of mind. Situational activity is something that is related to a particular situation. The most common example is binging when we are watching TV.


People with negative thought and low self-mage take the route of eating as an excuse to overcome this problem.


Lastly physiological eating is mainly a response to some physical conditions. Severe pains, missing a meal and other such physical conditions may goad a person to eat abnormally.

To find out the reason for such emotional eating, it is important to keep record of your eating habits vis-a-vis your state of mind. This will help you to identify the triggers that cause such overeating problems. Once the main trigger has been identified we have to find out alternatives to eating in such situations. Whenever you have an urge to eat because of the above five major factors, you could try any of the following activities to stop you from eating as a response to such triggers.

Tips to Control Emotional Eating Disorder

Use these tips to to overcome emotional eating:

  • listen to music or read a book
  • go for a jog
  • engage yourself in some breathing exercise
  • play some easy indoor games
  • talk to your best friend
  •  engage yourself in some household work such as gardening and washing
  • do any such jobs or chores which gives you happiness and pleasure.
  •  try some relaxation exercise such as yoga, etc.

 At the end of the day the main way to treat this problem is to accept that the problem exists. Once this has been done identifying the trigger and finding out ways and means to overcome it are the best ways to find a cure to this situation. Don’t let emotional eating to sabotage your weight loss plans!

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