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Life Lessons: The emotional eating test

Hunger and thirst trigger the same types of signals in your brain, which can lead to eating when your body actually needs water, and there are more ways we use food to replace the things we really need.

Eating sugar and fats increases the dopamine levels in our brains much in the same way as cocaine, heroin and opioids, which may explain why some people have such a hard time dieting.

“Because subconsciously we don’t want to feel deprived or denied and sugar is associated with pleasure and comfort," said Rena Greenberg, Hay House Author and CEO of Easy Willpower.

An article from Harvard medical school states that “comfort” foods can temporarily relieve stress, but if a habit forms, it can lead to weight gain, health problems, and loss of sleep. So how do you stop emotional eating?

MyBodyTutor.com suggests the broccoli test. Ask yourself “would I eat raw broccoli right now?” If the answer is "yes" then you are physically hungry. If the answer is "no," you might be lonely, thirsty, or just looking for a distraction. Use this opportunity to face your issues and figure out what you really need.

The same Harvard article says meditation, exercise, and social support from friends and family can relieve stress and lower cortisol levels, which are related to a higher intake of sugar and fatty foods.


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