Are You an Emotional Eater?
Emotional eating is defined as turning to food for comfort, often to avoid stress, boredom, or painful emotions. It’s essentially eating for any other reason than hunger. This may be an unconscious or conscious decision and it manifests in many ways, but most often involves turning to food to change the way we feel.
I understand this so very well. I had been an emotional eater for decades. When I was younger, I would stuff down my emotions with food. It was how I handled the stress, trauma, and pain in my life.
It was the one thing I could control.
When I got older, It was also how I coped with the fear and uncertainty of the future. You see, if I was always focused on “losing weight”, I didn’t have to think about the future – and what I’d do when I no longer had the excuse of, “I have to lose weight first”. And so every time I got close to my goal weight, the fear and uncertainty of the future would throw me back into emotional eating and gaining weight.
But at least I had certainty in knowing what I “had to do”, and I’d start the painful cycle all over again.
Emotional eating was also a way I’d punish myself. Feeling I was worthless and “bad”, I would eat and stuff myself until I felt sick. I felt I deserved it. But it was okay, because “I’ll just start ‘eating right’ tomorrow”.
If you’re an emotional eater, regardless of how it manifests in your life, it’s a painful cycle and one reason why, after my recovery, I decided to become a health and life coach – to help others restore and liberate their lives – mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Many times the clients I see, though their stories may be different, will come to me feeling guilty and self-defeated because they can’t seem to stop eating the foods that they know are causing weight gain and ill-health. They feel powerless. They feel fat. They feel sick and hopeless to change!
I understand these feelings all too well, and lived feeling them for far too long.
What are the Signs of Emotional Eating?
Here are some of the signs of emotional eating:
- Secretive and guilty eating
- Hiding food containers
- Eating when others are out of the house
- Fear will never stop eating if you let yourself go
- Constant thinking about food
- Food becomes less enjoyable
- Always worried both that you won’t get enough and that you’ll eat too much
- Food brings anxiety
- Lack of hunger signals
No More Slave to Food
It is very common that people who emotionally eat turn to food because they are stressed out, busy, overwhelmed, lonely, or looking for comfort or happiness. It’s more of an emotional issue than a hunger issue, but the bottom line is that people who emotionally eat use food as an escape.
Most of them want to change their habits, they just don’t know how. The beautiful thing is that people who deal with emotional eating can change! You can learn to discover and address your emotions in healthy ways, rather than suppressing or escaping them.
Step One – Awareness
If you suspect you might have a problem with emotional eating, take my FREE quiz to find out. After you’ve finished the quiz, I’ll share with you some ways to help you overcome emotional eating.
Step 2 – Get Support
As a certified health, nutrition and life coach, and with my own experience and knowledge in overcoming emotional eating, I can help. With resources, education, support, and taking a deep dive together into what is driving you to emotionally eat, you can learn to take back control and find peace and joy in your life.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how I can help.
You are not alone!