Emotional Eating Awareness

Nowadays, Emotional eating awareness is very crucial as with fast pace disorganized lifestyle along with increasing laziness ultimately leads into emotional eating in which food becomes the source of comfort and pleasure but unfortunately emotionally eating doesn’t fix emotional problems as its just a temporary escape and one feels guilty afterwards for overeating unhealthy stuff that commonly includes fast food snacks and sugary drinks.

Occasional using food for pleasure in order to celebrate with friends and family isn’t always bad but when eating becomes the primary emotional coping mechanism and as a habit then it becomes negative to one’s health and well-being.


Have a look on some of the common reasons of emotional eating:

  1. Stress caused eating leading for emotion relief–  When stress is chronic, as it so often is in our chaotic, fast-paced world, it leads to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol And the cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods that give one a burst of energy and pleasure.
  2. The desire for pleasure as escape – Eating can be a way to temporarily reduce or convert uncomfortable emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame into pleasure which becomes a habit.
  3. Out of Boredom in one’s life–  Eating for taste buds distracts from underlying feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction in one’s life.
  4. Habits from Childhood – As children are unaware of unhealthy foods so there are chances that some children form the habit of overeating which continues as adults
  5. Social influences – I have seen many people who get together with other people for a meal in a way to relieve stress, and obviously, it can lead to overeating. And It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there or because everyone else is eating and one may also overeat in social situations out of nervousness or perhaps on request of  family or friends circle.

Learning to recognize and being aware of this unhealthy emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and thus changing the habits that have undermined one’s diets in the past. When one is aware of the negative effects of overeating then the desire for emotional eating also subsides.

References and Further reading

  1. Emotional eating, rather than lifestyle behavior, drives weight gain in a prospective study in 1562 employees by Koenders PG, van Strien T; PubMed nov. 2011
  2. Psychological Determinants of Emotional Eating in Adolescence Selena T. Nguyen-rodriguez, Jennifer B. Unger, and Donna Spruijt-metz.
  3. http://www.healthmatters.idaho.gov/pdf/classes/emotionaleatsigns.pdf
  4. Reduction of Emotional Eating After a Behavior Change Program in Obesity, ClinicalTrials.gov
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Pradeep completed his Masters in Clinical Engineering from IIT Madras and he likes to share the care! To know about him and his projects click here!

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1 Response

  1. ramu says:

    Pradeep, It is a nice website. It will be useful surely for public.
    when find time i will go through ur website.
    some of the tips i would like tosay regarding life style
    (i) wake up at early in brahmamurta( means one and half an hour before sun rice ) start our day journey and finish every thing early. going to bed by 9.30 pm . This habit it self is big medicine for many anarthas
    (2) stop taking tea before sleep. hot mik advicable
    (3) after food we should not take bath immediately
    (4) fasting twice in a months preferably on ekadasi days. This will improve the dijestion system efficiency

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