Cara Harbstreet explains beautifully how the trauma response can trigger eating. And who isn’t experiencing some trauma right now? Nutrition is important she says, but so is surviving.

In my work as a dietitian, emotions are often a check engine light, alerting us there’s something amiss and impacting how we relate to food and our body. But I hear again and again how we need to “stop eating our feelings” or “finally put an end to emotional eating.” The reality is, these eating behaviors are serving a purpose. They are a coping mechanism. We’re taught emotional eating is a “problem” to be “fixed” because we often lack other coping mechanisms. Even if we have other ways to cope in our arsenal, quarantines and social distancing have likely eliminated some or all of those options. As temporary as eating may be, it might be the most accessible option for us in the moment. It might be the best, more reliable, or quickest tool we have to start to feel better.

You’re Not Stress Eating – You’re Surviving | Medium (non-members get 5 free views a month)