What's that?
Emotional eating is when you eat to comfort yourself when you are really stressed, upset, angry or worried or even to celebrate when you are really happy. While it is not always a bad thing to eat a piece of chocolate to feel better or enjoy an occasion with a yummy treat, if it happens too often, then you have got to watch out. If you find yourself craving for food all the time, even after eating your meals a day, you might be eating for comfort rather than for hunger. And eating food to divert your mind from another problem will only cause more problems.

Why is it a big deal?
Too much of anything is bad. Even food. So eating when you are not really hungry and when your body does not need the food; is definitely going to cause trouble. And if you get into a habit of relying on food to help you forget a problem, you will never learn to deal with problems the right way and solve them. It is a sure-shot way to lose your health as well as lose your peace of mind. Foods that are sweet or fried release chemicals that make you feel better for a little while but later cause even more stress. Nausea, weight gain or feelings of guilt are some problems that emotional eating leads to.

Am I an emotional eater?

Emotional eating is a common problem that teenagers and even adults face. It is important to find out if you are an emotional eater to be able to get over it and bring back good health. Take a look at the questions below:
  • If you come back from school in a really bad mood, do you head straight to the fridge?
  • Do you end up eating too many packets of chips or biscuits while studying for exams?
  • Do you feel like eating ice-cream or chocolates when you are sad?
  • If you have a fight with your best friend, do you feel like eating rather than talking and sorting out the problem?

If your answer to most of the questions is a ‘Yes’, then you do tend to eat for comfort.

What do I do now?
If you have found out that you do are an emotional eater, don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you deal with emotional eating and get back to being happy and healthy.
  • Try talking to a friend or family member when you are upset
  • Divert your mind by going for a walk or jog or play a sport or any activity that you enjoy
  • Listen to some happy tunes and dance to make yourself feel better
  • Write down what you eat and how you feel while eating it
  • Keep junk food out of reach and if you have to eat, eat healthy foods like fruits or nuts
  • Don’t feel shy to talk about your problem and let professionals help you deal with it

The urge for emotional eating lasts just for about five to seven minutes. All you need to do is to get past that short phase. Definitely worth the effort and not very difficult to achieve if you really want to do it!