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Do Food Cravings Reflect Your Feelings?

How to overcome emotional eating

Get a Handle on Emotional Eating continued...

The conventional wisdom used to be that if you craved something, your body needed a nutrient found in that particular food.

With the possible exception of chocolate, which contains the feel-good brain chemical called serotonin, Spangle disdains this explanation. "Many people would rather blame their physiology instead of doing the work of sorting out their emotions and taking care of those needs," she says.

If eating carbs makes you crave more carbs, Spangle says, this may be partly due to your physiological makeup. But to stop eating the extra carbs, you need to examine the reason for the emotional eating.

So take a look at the food you're holding in your hand, and ask: "Who do I want to chew out?" "What's missing in my life?" Or just: "Why am I eating this?"

The answer could help you stop eating when you're not hungry -- and put you on the road to dealing with your feelings in a more productive way.

Reviewed on June 16, 2003

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