Is Your Teenager An Emotional Overeater?

Many overweight people, especially teenage girls eat to comfort themselves. This bad dietary habit is known as emotional overeating. We eat certain foods to pacify negative feelings such as anger, grief and disappointment. Emotional overeating can also be classified as a reaction to stress.

Emotional overeating is not a big sin but it can make you fat. These a stressful times we live in and when you were a kid your mom probably made you feel better about bad things that happened to you during the day by giving you some kind of treat. Usually it was something rich and laden with crabs like ice cream, cookies or potato chips.

A nickname for emotional overeating is 'stuffing your anger.' The urge to stuff our faces is very primal and according to evolutionary biologists comes from a time when we felt very aggressive as we tore into our prey. Often overeating in women is related to aggression or anger. Women are not allowed to display anger in this society as it is considered unattractive so they express it by biting into food instead.

The irony is that most women do not enjoy how they feel when they are 'stuffing down their anger' by overeating. They feel comforted but guilty for letting themselves down at the same time. Many women do not even really taste what is in their mouths when they binge eat like this.

It is an act of rebellion that backfires and makes the person feel worse than before. This creates a condition where you can become angry at yourself and you want to eat even more. The worst case scenario is the development of a dangerous disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

Carbs, fat and sugar can temporarily make you feel better emotionally because they have a way of fueling the feel good chemicals in the brain. The problem is that this is just a quick fix that wears off and has you craving yet more of the same comfort foods to feel the same 'high' again.

The only way to stop emotional overeating is to figure out what life situations are triggering your bad feelings and then try to get rid of those situations in your life. You literally try to figure out 'what's eating you' so that you will stop eating every time you feel lonely, frustrated, angry or sad. Recognizing the source of the stress is half the battle because sometimes even if you cannot get rid of the situation entirely you can at least catch yourself before you react to it by overeating.

The good news is that this is a type of behavior that you can control. Once you recognize the situation that drives the emotion that in turn drives you to overeat you can stop emotional overeating just the same way you can stop any other bad habit.

Talk to your doctor if you think you are motivated to eat too much because of depression or anxiety. You might be prescribed an antidepressant. However keep in mind that although the antidepressant might stop compulsive or obsessive eating, the side effect of almost all of the brands of antidepressants on the market weight gain