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Signs You May Be an Emotional Eater

By Sara Butler

Are you guilty of mindless munching? Don't be afraid to admit that you're a comfort food connoisseur because a lot of people get their emotions mixed up with their eating habits. It can be difficult sometimes to know whether you're eating because you're hungry or because your feelings need to be fed. Here are a few signs that may mean you're an emotional eater.

Two Types of Hunger

There are two different types of hunger, physical and emotional. Physical hunger occurs because your body needs to refuel. Emotional hunger, on the other hand, occurs when you're not physically hungry but have the urge to eat anyway.

Emotional eating isn't good for your health and wellness. That's why it's important to recognize when you're doing it and work to put a stop to it.

Signs You're an Emotional Eater

There are some common signs that indicate emotional eating is an issue for you. They include:

  • Turning to food after an argument - Do you use food to deal with difficult emotions? If you have an argument with a loved one, do you reach for foods that comfort you? The stress hormones triggered by difficult emotions can increase your cravings for comfort foods.
  • You eat when working or studying - It can be easy to do some mindless munching when you're working late or doing some late-night studying. The stress these situations put on you makes you hungry. Plus, eating is often something people do to help them stay awake and alert, whether they're hungry or not.
  • You eat when you're bored - How many times have you found yourself going through the refrigerator and realized that you weren't even hungry? A lot of people graze when they're bored and use food to occupy themselves. Don't forget, food is a lot like a drug and it triggers the release of chemicals in your brain that help soothes and calm you. That's why you may look forward to eating when you're not physically hungry.
  • You hide - If you hide what you eat because you know that ice cream binge was not smart, then you're not alone. Emotional eating isn't rational, but you have to be careful you're not treading into binge eating territory, which could lead to an eating disorder.

Emotional eating is more common than you think. But it's important to identify it and take steps to stop it before it has an impact on your health and wellness.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orlando, Fla.

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