Many people don’t recognize the role emotional eating plays in their health. Most blame a lack of willpower for the fact that 95-percent of all diets fail. Whether the diet fails from the get-go or when the dieter regains all the weight shortly after going off their diet, lack of willpower gets the blame. What many people don’t realize is that emotional eating is often the real culprit. Not only does emotional eating play a pivotal role in obesity, it also plays an important part in disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and depression. In response to emotional stress people may overeat, binge on sugary, high fat snacks, reach for comfort foods or lose their appetite altogether. Weight goes up and down. All in an attempt to make themselves feel better—if only for the moment. What makes emotional eating even more difficult to alter is its complex interdependence with physiology.
Boredom is an emotion not a signal from your body that you need nutrients and energy. Yet everyday people everywhere mindlessly reach for food to stave off this uncomfortable state of being. Our fast paced society encourages and even praises those who are constantly busy, active and productive.
Conversely, inactivity is seen as lazy, unproductive and is frowned upon. This societal stigma becomes internalized to the point that a person will unconsciously try to fill the void created by boredom. Food, especially high sugar or carbohydrate laden snacks provide an immediate ‘fix’ and energy rush.