What is Emotional Eating?

Some people having trouble dealing with their weight usually have other underlying problems to consider. One of them is emotional eating. Emotional eating is a condition where a person has a tendency to eat as a response to a negative emotion. Stress and anxiety can have different effects on different people.

Some people react to such circumstances having a diminished tendency to eat. But for other people, stress and anxiety can lead them to an increased consumption of food.

Emotional Hunger vs Physical Hunger

There is a difference between emotional hunger which leads to emotional eating and physical hunger. The former is triggered by a certain negative emotion while the latter is brought about by a certain bodily response to lack of fuel to provide the body’s energy needs. Emotional hunger can come suddenly while physical hunger occurs gradually.

With emotional hunger, a person seems to have the craving that has to be satiated in an instant while physical hunger can sometimes afford to wait. Another difference is that emotional hunger can leave a person feeling guilty while satisfying physical hunger does not.

Main Emotional Triggers

Emotional triggers bring about emotional eating in people. There are various types of negative emotions that can lead people to binge eat. Anger is one of them. When a person feels angry at a person or a situation, some people tend to avoid showing or find a release for them. Some try to hide them by using food or eating. Some people feel that eating would be an easier way to deal with issues concerning anger.

Insecurities can also help trigger emotional eating. Some people who feel unappreciated can easily get into eating to compensate for their feelings. Lack of control over circumstances can also trigger one to binge eat as a way of having some sense of control for some people. Feelings of hopelessness and boredom can also easily trigger people to eat and eat even if they are not feeling any hunger.

Signs of Emotional Eating

Some people seem to go through emotional eating without sometimes noticing it. It can come at certain points that some people may do and not go overboard and be considered as just a normal reaction. But most to get overboard with it the more frequent certain emotional triggers tend to happen. And there are signs that people can look for to check if they are on an emotional eating binge.

When a person tends to eat more often without ever realizing of doing it can be into emotional eating. Another sign is when a person has the craving to eat after a sad or depressing experience or after a tense argument with someone. Having the urge to eat as a response to certain cues such as a food commercial can also be a sign of emotional eating. Eating when bored or finding nothing to do can also be a sign of emotional eating.


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