How can my emotional state affect my eating habits?

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Simply put, emotions can play a huge role in terms of our eating habits. When we are sad, anxious, stressed, angry, bored, happy, we may try to respond to these emotions/feelings by eating "comfort' foods. These foods might provide a temporary or short-term feeling of comfort but in the long run lead to unresolved issues and negative health consequences. 75% of overeating is due to emotional eating!

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
When it comes to stress, anxiety and depression, we are notorious for reaching for food and drink to ease the emotional pain. But food, like any other drug, does not fix the problem. Eating to numb yourself will not produce a happy end result to your boss' unrealistic demands, the pain you feel from deep emotional wounds from childhood that get stirred up when your mate doesn't come home on time, or your anger that your children just won't listen to you. We often use our eating habits to exert control in an otherwise lack of control situation. We also use our ability to eat what we want to get revenge on parents that were too restrictive when we were children or to get back at people in the present who won't give us what we want. Often we abuse food when we feel deprived of love, support or power. The abuse of food, however, deepens the problem and worsens our sense of control. We fool ourselves into thinking we're doing something, but all we are doing is relinquishing our control to a substance that will be gone in a matter of hours. If you find yourself regularly dealing with emotional trauma, depression, anxiety or panic, it's time to get help.

Continue Learning about Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

It's easy to go for that bag of chips when we're stressed and not think much of it. But emotional eating is serious detriment to weight loss as well as your overall health and well-being. People tend to binge eat the most when the...

y're lonely or stressed. This can set the stage for eating disorders and food addiction because we start treating food like medicine. Luckily, there's help for emotional eaters, in the form of community support, stress management techniques and in some cases, therapy.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.