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Emotional Eating

Table of Contents


Overview

What is emotional eating?

Emotional eating means that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may eat because you're sad, depressed, stressed, or lonely. Or you may use food as a reward. Food can be soothing and distract you from what's really bothering you.

If you eat for emotional reasons, you may not notice when your body is hungry or full. You may eat more than you need or want.

Emotional eating can interfere with making healthy food choices. And it can keep you from getting to a healthy weight and staying there.

What are the signs of emotional eating?

Everyone eats for reasons other than hunger once in a while. But if you notice that you often reach for food out of boredom or for comfort, you may be eating for emotional reasons. Big life events, like losing a job, can cause emotions that lead you to eat more. So can small hassles like being late for work.

Common signs of emotional eating are:

What are some tips for avoiding emotional eating?

Having a plan can help you deal with your emotions without using food. It's about you and what works best for you. Here are a few things you can try.


Credits for Emotional Eating

Current as of: May 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator


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