How many meals do you have in a day?

2, 3, 4?

All of that’s normal. Some people even have 5 meals in a day. As long as you are doing some physical activity and your calorie count doesn’t exceed requisite level, you’ll be healthy.

But what happens when eating becomes a way for a person to deal with their issues?

Something similar happened to me towards the last couple of months in my first job. I was working in a hotel and was surrounded by gourmet delicacies. It was subconscious at first, and I didn’t pay any heed to it. But then, the people around me started noticing and some of them even voiced their concern. I was gaining weight at an alarming rate. Once I noticed that I was indeed getting unhealthy, I tried to stop. But I couldn’t.

The problem wasn’t that I was eating unhealthy stuff, most of the things I ate were actually good for health. I just ate a lot of it. In time, I gravitated towards the unhealthy stuff as well. Within 2 months, I had reached a point where I looked at myself in the mirror and was shocked to see the person looking back at me.

You can call it stress/emotional eating or a binge eating disorder. I am not going to go into the technical details and bore you. While I was stuffing myself with calories, there are cases where people lose their appetite. Hogging food like a hungry hippo didn’t help me. It actually made the problem worse. And when I realized that I was getting worse, I ate some more.

Can you relate to any of this?

Research shows that it is fairly common for stress to affect a person’s appetite in a positive or negative manner. You might want to know whether I was able to control myself and get back on track. Well, eventually yes, but it was not easy to do that. I still stumble into the habit from time to time. When that does happen, I think about how it affected me. That helps me to stop.

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin