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Shrink Yourself blogger Dr. Roger Gould is one of the world’s leading authorities on emotional eating. He has helped thousands reclaim their power over food by conquering emotional eating, the number one cause of weight gain. Dr. Gould’s approach has been the subject of seven scientific studies.

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Shrink Yourself
by Dr. Roger Gould, Emotional eating expert

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Emotional Eating is no longer a new concept. It is something that has become a buzzword in many people's vocabulary. The media reflects the way food has become an accepted coping mechanism for almost every situation.

Kung Fu Panda eats because he is not living his dream. Samantha Jones in the film Sex and the City eats so she doesn't cheat on her boyfriend. And watching Oprah's body shrink and expand over the years has become a way to monitor her level of overwhelm or upset.

We are a stressed-out society and food makes us feel better. It's that simple.

Food is legal and readily available. Eating to alleviate stress is even encouraged by friends, family and the media. Stores, fast-food chains and restaurants keep developing new kinds of sugar- and fat-laden foods that are effective in numbing our bodies and minds.

The ever-growing obesity rate reflects that people are turning to this tried-and-true coping mechanism more and more often. The underlying reason is because we are in pain. We are depressed, anxious and upset. Food has been installed as a drug of choice because essentially it works. It soothes, puts a person in a trance and keeps people where they want to be - as far away from feelings as possible.

If comfort eating is so common, what's the problem?

1. The most obvious problem is obesity.
It's normal to reach for the comfort of food sometimes. Everyone does it. However, when a person uses food to deal with feelings they often find themselves becoming increasingly afraid to feel and that leads to reaching for food more frequently.

One Shrink Yourself member told us, "I used to eat when I was bored but now it seems like every feeling is an excuse to eat - anger, loneliness, happiness, exhaustion, all of them."

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@ 3:44am ET on April 7, 2009 I agree totally with this. At present I am so stressed with trouble with my ex-husband, and trying to sort out my 8 year daughter problems with him, and getting abuse and grief from him all the time, it is affecting my new marriage, so I am turning to chocolate, I have basically stopped eating normal food, just eating chocolate all the time, and the occasional biscuit. I feel so ugly and stressed that I dont care what weight I am, but know in my heart that I am about 7 stone overweight and the binge eating is not helping.
@ 8:47am ET on April 7, 2009 I agree too, its something I am only just starting to realise I can't do anymore. Right now I am going through some complications with my boyfriend and what I know I have to do now is face it head on, sort the problem out, speak to friends. And not turn to food in the mean time because its only going to make the situation and me worse...

Thanks for the article! :)
@ 10:13am ET on May 23, 2011 I totally agree, this has actually made me realise that the reason I'm eating so much is due to stress. Great article:).
@ 12:04pm ET on May 23, 2011 That´s exactly how I feel about my eating patterns.

Thank you for giving me a kick in the right direction :o)
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