Is emotional snacking derailing your weight loss journey? Here are 5 signs | Health - Hindustan Times
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Is emotional snacking derailing your weight loss journey? Here are 5 signs

By, New Delhi
Apr 21, 2024 07:05 PM IST

Are you munching throughout the day out of stress or boredom which is derailing your weight loss journey? Here are signs.

Food nourishes you and provides you with energy to do your daily tasks and maintain well-being. It also provides you comfort when you are stressed and triggers release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which boost mood and reduce stress. While mindfully eating a balanced and nutritious diet can improve your wellness, emotional eating on the other hand can make you overeat and impact your fitness routine, raising risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. When eating emotionally, people consume food in response to their feelings rather than hunger cues which can provide temporary comfort but in long run such eating pattern can have negative impact on physical and emotional well-being. (Also read: 5 protein-packed vegetarian foods to aid weight loss)

Are you an emotional eater? If your snack choices are consistently high in calories, sugars, and saturated fats, it may indicate that you're using food to cope with emotions rather than nourishing your body.(Freepik)
Are you an emotional eater? If your snack choices are consistently high in calories, sugars, and saturated fats, it may indicate that you're using food to cope with emotions rather than nourishing your body.(Freepik)

Eating something when you are hungry can help meet the body's caloric and nutritional needs but many a time, out of stress we keep munching something or the other to find temporary relief and help cope with complex emotions. Sugary and fatty food are associated with brain chemicals that give us feeling of pleasure. Pizza, samosa, burger, pastry, cookies, namkeen, chips, are among the empty calorie foods that can slowly but surely derail your weight loss journey.

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TELL-TALE SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL EATING

Dr Smruti Hindaria, Consultant Cardiac surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic Pune shares 5 signs of emotional eating in an interview with HT Digital.

1. Frequent consumption of unhealthy snacks: If the workplace environment is filled with junk food and fast food options, and you find yourself regularly indulging in these snacks during coffee breaks or snack breaks, it could indicate emotional snacking rather than genuine hunger.

2. High intake of calories, sugars, and saturated fats: If your snack choices are consistently high in calories, sugars, and saturated fats, it may indicate that you're using food to cope with emotions rather than nourishing your body.

3. Lack of discipline in eating habits: If there's a lack of discipline in your eating habits, such as irregular meal timing, portion control issues, or difficulty resisting unhealthy snacks, it could suggest that emotions are driving your eating behaviour rather than nutritional needs.

4. Seeking comfort in food: Emotional snacking often involves seeking comfort in food to deal with stress, boredom, or other emotions. If you find yourself turning to snacks as a coping mechanism rather than addressing underlying emotions or stressors, it could be derailing your weight loss efforts.

5. Difficulty making healthy choices: Despite being aware of healthier snack options, if you consistently opt for unhealthy snacks like chips, crackers, or sweets, it may indicate that emotional factors are influencing your food choices rather than a genuine desire for nourishing foods.

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