Many of us tend to eat when we are bored, angry, stressed, overwhelmed, or when we fear there may not be enough food, even though we may not be hungry. Non-Hunger Eating Sometimes, nonhunger eating does not have an emotional cause, but is simply caused by learned habits. People often begin eating because they are hungry, but continue eating beyond the point of fullness. They may do this simply because the food tastes really good, or they may have been too hungry when they started, ending up eating too quickly for the body to have time to tell the brain that it is full. Sometimes childhood memories, such as having been told we had to finish everything on our plates or we wouldn't get dessert, stick in our memories and cause adult eating disorders. Emotional Eating On the other hand, sometimes important aspects of our lives, such as work or relationships, go out of control. We often feel powerless to change the situation. It is common to turn to our weight to find something to control, thus starting another diet. Eating may feel like the only thing we really have complete control over in our lives. Many times, we need to do an emotional analysis of our eating behavior, perhaps with a therapist. We are quick to blame being overweight as our problem, when the therapist will often find that the weight is only a symptom of the problem. It's Your Choice If we find ourselves eating when we are not hungry, we must stop and assess the situation. We are not at the mercy of the emotions that cause us to eat, and we can prevent nonhunger eating by evaluating the root cause. We have choices. We can choose to ignore our nonhunger eating by blaming weight problems on heredity, lack of will power, or being too old or too busy to learn new tools. Or we can choose to take responsibility to recognize behavior that no longer serves us. Facing up to the cause of nonhunger eating may be painful, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle makes it all worthwhile.