Are You an Emotional Eater?
Emotional eating happens when you turn to food for comfort. It’s not necessarily because you’re hungry, but rather because a void needs to be filled or a feeling needs to be suppressed. These feelings can take over and consume your thoughts. The crunchy saltiness of a potato chip or the sweet sinfulness of a piece of cake may call your name when you are feeling down. Relief, however, is only temporary, but as for the effects, they tend to last longer. The feelings of disappointment afterward for consuming the extra calories can be more damaging than the feelings that drove you to emotional eating. At this point, you may become so frustrated and tired of trying to make a change that it ends up exacerbating the problem.
Are you an emotional eater? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find out:
Do I eat when I’m not physically hungry?
Do I overeat until I feel stuffed?
Do I eat when I am stressed, overwhelmed, bored, or anxious?
Do I have feelings of regret after I eat?
Do I feel out of control when it comes to eating?
Do I use food as a reward?
If you’ve been on diets and continue to have trouble losing weight or sticking to them, most likely you don’t have control over your emotional eating. This will continue the roller coaster of dieting. Both diets and eating healthy fail, or don’t last long, because what you haven’t changed is the emotional connection you have to food. In order to stop the emotional eating, you will need to recognize the emotional triggers you experience while overeating or eating your feelings away. I have put together a quick reference sheet for you with The recognition of emotional eating is the first step to making a change. Once you discover your triggers, you’ll want to connect with the feelings and truly feel and understand them. Don’t be afraid of them or try to suppress them.
Sometimes distractions and looking for an alternative to emotional eating isn’t enough. That’s when you know it is time to reach out to a professional for help. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional so that they can point you in the right direction for counseling and support.
I want to share a quick story with you that may help you on your health journey:
My sister had gastric bypass surgery 11 years ago. At that time, she had no idea she was making the biggest mistake of her life. She followed the advice of her physicians and went through the program they had designed to get her prepared for the procedure, the recovery, and life after surgery. However, what they didn’t coach her through was the real reason she was overweight and couldn’t control the food she was consuming. She was an emotional eater and always had been. No amount of surgery could fix the emotional connection she had with food. She needed to face the feelings she was experiencing but none of that was covered during her program.
Unfortunately, what she didn’t realize before having the gastric bypass surgery was that she would be one of the patients that would experience multiple life-threatening complications. Those complications have taken over her quality of life for the past 11 years and she still doesn’t have control over the emotional eating. I share all of this with you because emotional eating is serious. It isn’t just a cover up for not being able to control what you eat … and you’re not alone!
I became an emotional eater when I was a child. It was a way for me to hide the pain of my parent’s divorce. Food was always there for me. It made me feel better, it never judged me, it comforted me when I was down, and it made me feel happy even if it was just for a moment. It was easier to hide the emotions behind the food so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain, sadness, and loneliness. One danger of emotional eating is that it can easily morph into other forms of hiding the pain. However, it doesn’t have to! You don’t have to live a life of hiding and suppressing your feelings.
Over the years, I have come to know my triggers that lead me to emotional eating. Stress and feeling overwhelmed from parenting my kiddos is a big one. I have found that if I can use some sort of replacement when I feel the trigger beginning then I am more likely to be able to control the emotional eating.
SO, make sure you go download my You can easily download the tips so that you can hang it on your fridge or keep in a spot that is easily accessible.
Emotional eating isn’t the easiest to overcome, but even small steps one at a time can set you on a path to a healthier and more fulfilling life. You’re not alone on this journey, you can join me on Facebook by .
Love & Health,