When you’re happy, your food of choice could be steak or pizza, when you’re sad it could be ice cream or cookies, and when you’re bored it could be potato chips. Sound familiar?
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Food does more than fill our stomachs — it also satisfies feelings, and when you quench those feelings with comfort food when your stomach isn’t growling, that’s emotional eating.
What are the telltale signs of emotional eating? And how it can be overcome?
How To Tell If You’re An Emotional Eater
1. If you’re eating, but not hungry
Emotional eating is when one eats for reasons other than actual hunger. Emotions dictate eating instead of the internal cues designed to guide us to eating when we’re hungry and stopping when we’re full.
And this is so scary because mindless and emotional eating can result in excess weight and a host of health-related issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Beyond the physical health risks, overweight individuals can also suffer from depression and isolation, only perpetuating the cycle of emotional eating.
If you’re eating because you’re bored or plan food around TV shows or other activities (and not for nutritional purposes), you’re likely emotional eating. Certain foods and meals make you feel happy if you’ve had a hard day or feel restless, but you should really only eat if you’re hungry—not to make yourself feel better.