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If you feel the need to eat while you are full in your troubled moments, the reason may be ‘emotional hunger’. Member of Turkey Medicals a Nutritionist and Dietitian Doctor, she gave effective tips against this problem that make you gain weight fast…

Emotional hunger is an artificial feeling of hunger triggered by feelings such as stress, anger, sadness, loneliness, and it is a condition that occurs with the desire to eat to fill that emotional void. ‘Individuals who eat with emotional origins are about 14 times more likely to be fat, that is, obese, than normal individuals,’ said Dr. so we asked about what ways to deal with this growing problem, especially during the pandemic… here are her explanations.


Emotional hunger develops suddenly. In particular, there is a craving for a certain food. Like sweet, junk food… food is eaten when the stomach is full, but there is no reduction in the feeling of hunger. In moments of emotional hunger, you want to quickly suppress the feeling that hunger is actually pushing you to hunger. And then you think that you don’t really need to eat, and you regret it.


Emotions such as stress, anxiety, depression, anger, anger that cause the emotional eating often increases the food consumption and disrupt eating habits. Emotions also affect all stages of the nutritional process, such as food selection, chewing speed, digestion, metabolism…


If you are an emotional eater and you are looking for a cure for this, it is possible that you can change your brain biochemistry with the right food preferences and some tactics. Here’s what you need to do.

First of all, be aware of what times of your life (work or school, etc.) you encounter such difficult situations. When you feel the need to eat at that moment, ask yourself ‘Am I really hungry’.

Consume 5-8 servings of vegetables and fruits every day. Because the antioxidant vitamins contained in vegetables and fruits fuel the production of dopamine, the motivation hormone.

In our stressful and anxious periods, our brain tries to increase the synthesis of the carrier of stimuli related to peace and happiness, that is, serotonin. When our serotonin level increases; we feel energetic, happy, peaceful, we sleep soundly and wake up rested, our appetite comes under control. The way to increase serotonin synthesis is by consuming tryptophan-containing foods. Seratonin; it is an important stimulus carrier produced by the brain from a protein building block called tryptophan (amino acid) found in foods such as squid, banana, pineapple, plum, hazelnut, milk, turkey breast, cashew, walnut, sesame, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, rice, corn, spinach and eggs. In order to increase tryptophan absorption, you should also include complex carbohydrate source foods such as pasta, bulgur rice in your meal.

During stressful periods, our level of the stress hormone, that is, cortisol, rises rapidly, and as a side effect of rising cortisol, the hunger center is stimulated, the search for sugary food increases. Therefore, in order not to be affected by the level of blood sugar, which dec due to the action of cortisol, you should include intermediate meals. Make sure that your dec meals are accompanied by a protein source such as kefir, homemade yogurt.

In times of emotional hunger, instead of eating, you should turn to methods that will relax you or keep your brain busy and shift your focus in a different direction. For example, walking can relax you. Sometimes, engaging the brain in something different can also work better at managing moments of emotional hunger. It’s like dealing with a hobby, reading a book, solving puzzles.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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