Saturday, 24 March 2012


Emotional Eating is the disorder that many of us face knowingly and unknowingly.  It changes according to the mood which we are in.  But what is Emotional Eating?  You may be stressed due to the workload you are having and are having a hell of a time.  You start gulping down anything that comes before you, eating those chocolates or a bagful of chips.  Still the hunger is always there.  This tendency relates to Emotional Eating.  It is the way to escape from the situation by eating away food or to divert your feelings from the actual situation.  These may happen consciously or unconsciously in certain situations such as sadness, depression, boredom or anger.

To check you if you are an emotional eater, the following checks can be made to confirm this disorder.
·        Do you have the urge to eat different kinds of foods during different moods?
·        Does this eating make you feel better?
·        Do you eat this type of food even when you are not hungry?
·        Do you have some particular taste in the foods for particular moods i.e. chocolates for stress, spicy food for anger?
·        Do you even unknowingly eat when you are bored?

If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions, than the fact is that you are an Emotional Eater.

This kind of eating can lead to some serious problems such as weight gain and obesity.  Another disadvantage of this eating spree is that once you have stopped eating the emotional problems start to arise again and the feeling gets worse. 

Causes of Emotional Eating :
The causes for this type of disorder may range back to your childhood days when you are given a chocolate if you are on a crying spree or you are given a reward of an ice-cream if you get good marks in your exams.  These types of habits bring about a solace in seeking comfort for food.  Thus, when you are grown up, these habits form the basis of your disorder.  Foods such as chocolates or coffee can be a way of addiction for particular people and as such emotional eating aggravates this addiction due to release of certain chemicals that brings about a feeling of happiness.

How to control your Eating Habits?
The process or habit of Emotional Eating can be removed by training yourself in certain ways.
·        When you have the urge to go for eating if you are bored or stressed, try to distract yourself by indulging in some other activity instead of eating. These may include listening to music or reading a book.
·        The urge to eat can be checked by figuring out if you are really hungry or is it just a phase of your mood which is bringing about this state of eating.
·        Try to stay away from foods as much as you can during such periods.
·        The most important thing here is to identify the moods which can bring about the spate of emotional eating. Try to avoid these moods altogether.
·        Even if you are not able to avoid these urge of emotional eating, try not to indulge in unhealthy foods such as chocolates or chips but go for eating some healthy fruits or foods which is beneficial for your body.  These may include such fruits or vegetables which are high in fiber as also low in fats and salt. 
·        Another method of reducing this emotional eating is to exercise daily as this can release the chemicals and hormones which can uplift the mood and as such keep away those dangerous moods which trigger off the emotional eating.

In the end it can be said that you should try to differentiate between emotional hunger and physical hunger and draw a line between them.  Try to avoid such eating habits as they may well be the path for a serious disorder which may spurt up any time.  These disorders may well be obesity or even heart attacks due to unhealthy food consumption.  Your life is at stake, so stay away from these kinds of emotional eating habits. 

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