When you’re happy, your food of choice could be steak or pizza, when you’re sad it could be ice cream or cookies, and when you’re bored it could be potato chips. Food does more than fill our stomachs — it also satisfies feelings, and when you quench those feelings with comfort food when your stomach isn’t growling, that’s emotional eating.
“Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger,” says Jane Jakubczak, a registered dietitian at the University of Maryland. “Instead of the physical symptom of hunger initiating the eating, an emotion triggers the eating.”
What are the telltale signs of emotional eating, what foods are the most likely culprits when it comes to emotional eating, and how it can be overcome? Experts help WebMD find the answers.