We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward. Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes it becomes an issue we need to look at a little harder.
Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs rather than to fill your stomach. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems.
Not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating. Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to changing the habits that have sabotaged your diets in the past. While most emotional eating is linked to unpleasant feelings, it can also be triggered by positive emotions, such as rewarding yourself for achieving a goal or celebrating a holiday or happy event. Other triggers include:
Chronic stress can lead to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods. continue reading ...