Maybe We’re Not Emotional, Just Hungry

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As much as we cherish the feminine rite of explaining our eating habits in terms of our emotional lives, a weight-management expert says we’re probably kidding ourselves with the food diaries. Writing in the Daily News, Bariatric Institute founder Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, says most so-called emotional eaters are just projecting their feelings onto normal, hormonal hunger pangs. If they’re just eating because they’re stressed, he wonders, why are they only ever stressed in the late afternoon?

“Dive deeper and, more often than not, their fill-in-the-blank struggles tend to occur in the later half of their days – from mid- to late afternoon and on through the evening; mornings don't seem to host the same problems. I find that a bit odd since certainly people have all those same emotions in the day's early hours as well.”

Freedhoff says a sudden afternoon craving for a chocolate-chip muffin doesn’t necessarily mean you believe, deep down, you're undeserving of love. You may simply want a muffin because your illogical caveman brain thinks you might need the extra fat to survive the winter. “Unfortunately,” he writes, “no one has sent our bodies the memo that there's far less cause for concern that calories will be difficult to hunt or find these days.”

His solution is of the harder-than-it-sounds variety — “pre-emptively eating” many meticulously planned meals and high-protein snacks. But he does offer this freebie to anyone looking for a reason to hate juice cleanses: “The only caveat to this recipe is that none of the aforementioned calories or protein should come from liquid sources – those won't have the same impact.”