We’ve all experienced the emotional, in-the-moment relief that our favorite sweet or salty snack can provide.

There is a scientific basis for this experience. Carbohydrate rich foods enable the protein tryptophan to easily enter the brain and be made into serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel good and reduces depression. Think of it like your own natural anti-depressant.

When eating carbohydrates becomes your go-to coping mechanism for chronic stress it can lead to excessive emotional eating and weight gain. This can lead to guilt and shame and more emotional eating.

Carbohydrates are neither innately good nor bad. Seeing them as a “forbidden food” can lead to future temptation and/or shaming when consumed.

Emotional eating happens to all of us. It is not necessary to compound your eating with the added burden of guilt and shame. It is important to understand your eating triggers and identify alternative coping skills. This way you will be empowered to make choices in the future that may not occur to you at the moment of stress.

If you are interested in learning more about emotional eating and bariatric counseling please contact me for a consult.