Emotional eating is eating, consciously or unconsciously, as a means of suppressing, numbing and/or soothing emotions such as stress, anger, fear, anxiety, depression, boredom, loneliness. It does not occur exclusively within the context of binge eating but can be a symptom of any of the eating disorders. Emotional eating is the opposite of mindful eating in which the goal is to be focused on what you are eating and doing in the moment, being actively aware of sensations, thoughts and feelings without judging or attempting to change them. Normalized eating patterns entail eating out of physical hunger, and stopping out of fullness or satiety. Individuals with anorexia nervosa oftentimes find it beneficial to utilize distractions while eating because during weight restoration they need to typically eat more food than hunger requires whereas individuals with bulimia nervosa tend to benefit from increasing awareness of hunger and satiety cues, being mindful/aware of how their food tastes and how their bodies react to it. Foods consumed during emotional eating oftentimes entails foods otherwise limited or avoided.
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