Emotional eating makes it harder to lose weight

November 13, 2007 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Emotional eating makes it harder to lose weight
People who eat to cope with feeling lonely or upset lose less weight when dieting, according to new American research.

In this study, 286 overweight men and women participating in a weight loss program were asked to complete a questionnaire that asked them about external and internal influences on their eating. Eating too much at a party is an example of an external influence while eating as a reward would be an internal reason for eating.

Dieters who reported eating for internal reasons lost the least amount of weight as compared with dieters who didn't eat in response to their feelings.

Emotional eaters also were more likely to regain the weight they lost while non-emotional eaters were able to maintain their weight loss for at least one year. 

The authors suggest that people who are trying to lose weight need to pay close attention to their emotions to catch any feelings that may trigger overeating.

This study was published in the journal Obesity and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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