Stop Emotional Eating

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Stop Emotional Eating

EMOTIONAL EATING: Searching for Comfort in all the Wrong Places

Most binges are connected with negative feelings—you're upset, anxious, or angry, so you divert your attention from whatever is causing you angst (your nagging mother-in- law, perhaps) by eating. "Food can act like a drug," says Geneen Roth, the author of Women, Food, and God. "It can take the edge off whatever is going on, similar to the way a drink does for alcoholics. People think to themselves, ‘I may be feeling upset, but at least I get to taste something good.' " Unfortunately, this tactic is a temporary fix at best. "After you're done eating, you still have to deal with the original problem," says Spangle. "It's like when a baby is crying because he needs a nap. If you feed him, he may stop screaming. But once you're done giving him his bottle, it won't take long before he realizes he's still tired and starts wailing again." On top of that, bingeing can actually make you feel worse in the long run. "Afterwards, you beat yourself up because you feel mad and guilty about what you just did," says Spangle. "And then you eat more to deal with that distress; it's a vicious cycle."

Keep reading to learn what you're really craving 


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