What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating refers to the consumption of food as a coping mechanism for dealing with emotional distress, rather than eating for physiological hunger or nutritional needs. Emotional eating is often triggered by negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, sadness, boredom, or loneliness, and can lead to eating in excess, choosing comfort foods that are often high in sugar, fat, or salt, and feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards. Emotional eating can become a maladaptive coping strategy that may contribute to weight gain, poor nutrition, and negative impacts on physical and emotional health.
Emotional eating can vary in severity, and occasional emotional eating may not necessarily indicate an issue.
When is it necessary to see a doctor?
If emotional eating is interfering with your physical or emotional well-being, it may be helpful to seek support from a healthcare professional, such as a therapist, counselor, or registered dietitian, who can provide guidance, counseling, and tools to manage emotional eating and develop healthier coping strategies.