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Emotional Eating, is it an Eating Disorder?

Aug 17, 2007
If you use food to manage your mood or if you eat in response to your feelings, you may be defined as someone who is suffering from emotional eating. Emotional eating usually occurs when you eat on impulse because of a triggered feeling. Although it is not defined as an eating disorder, some medical experts think that it is still akin to an eating disorder because the patient has an unbalanced outlook or relationship with food.

An emotional eater eats because of a triggered emotion and normally not because he or she feels hungry. If you are not sure if you are an emotional eater, you might want to ask yourself some guiding questions. Do you normally eat even if you are not hungry? When you are feeling down, lonely, stressed out or if you just don't have anything to do, do you usually grab food right away and chomp down? If faced with a problem, do you usually find yourself eating instead of dealing with the problem on hand? Do you find it difficult to draw the line between being truly hungry and just having some snacks? If your answer to the said questions is mostly a yes, then you have experienced or may even still be experiencing emotional eating. Emotional eaters' attention usually gets curbed because of food.

For emotional eaters, there are ways of managing this type of situation. Emotional eaters can follow some steps in order to develop a healthier relationship with emotions and food. First off, a person should understand that while food is important to survive, to have too much passion for it is not healthy. Food should not be used as means to appease feelings of sadness or loneliness.

Secondly, a person should become a more wary eater. More thought or attention should be given whenever one is eating. A person should check his or her eating habits and learn new and other skills in order to better the current ones.

A person who thinks he or she may be an emotional eater can try keeping a food journal. Keeping one can help a person keep track of the food he or she eats, when and why. Simply write down the food that you have eaten in a day, where you ate them and why you ate them. Was it because you were truly hungry or because of a whim? The food journal can help you keep track of your emotional eating patterns. Once you keep a record of your eating patterns and of the reasons behind every eating session, you can fully assess the possible ways for you to deal with emotional eating.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Eating Disorders.
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