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Stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress, and if it’s done too often, it can also add pounds. Here are some tips to beat this habit.”
Emotional eating happens to many of us from time to time. Maybe you’ve cheered yourself up with a bowl of ice cream after an unusually tough day, or sneaked a few French fries from your best friend’s plate while recapping a disastrous date. But when emotional eating gets out of hand—when eating is the first and most common response to negative thoughts and feelings—it’s time to get a grip.
Stress eating, or emotional eating, is when you eat in order to escape whatever bad feelings you’re experiencing, in the hope that food will make you feel better. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, but more often it’s just a mindless response to a vague, negative emotion. You may not know what’s bothering you, but you’re pretty sure that food is the one thing that will cure whatever ails you.
There are few tell-tale signs that can help you distinguish emotional hunger/stress eating from true, physical hunger.
Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to work on your stress eating. If you find that these tactics aren’t working for you, ask your health care provider if counseling or group support might be helpful for you.