Sometimes the strongest food cravings hit when you’re at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort—consciously or unconsciously—when facing a difficult problem, feeling stressed, or even feeling bored.
Emotional eating can sabotage your weight loss efforts. It often leads to eating too much, especially too much high-calorie, sweet, and fatty foods. The good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight loss goals.
The connection between mood, food, and weight loss
Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness, and loneliness. Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life, can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight loss efforts. These triggers might include:
- Relationship conflicts
- Work stress
- Financial pressures
- Health problems
Although some people eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you might turn to impulsive or binge eating, quickly consuming whatever’s convenient without enjoyment.