How can you end emotional eating?
You can’t! Eating for emotional reasons is normal—we all do it! As humans we associate food with pleasure and comfort from our first moments of feeding, to birthday cakes, to pleasant memories of backyard burgers with our families.
Why you eat is as important as what you eat!
In my last video, Why do I keep struggling with the same eating issues?, I shared the realization that why I was eating affected every decision that followed, including my food choices. So, when I am eating because of emotional triggers, it affects when I feel like eating, what I want to eat, how I eat it, and definitely how much I eat!
That’s why I asked you to think about why you eat, when you eat, and what you eat so we could do a little more work to figure out the clues left by your emotional eating triggers. Thank you for all of your comments and insights!
It is clear from your comments that you want to end emotional eating that disconnects you from taking care of your true needs so you can live fully and vibrantly. But how do you know what those needs are?
Look for clues in your emotions.
When a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating probably won’t satisfy it, but your emotions give you clues about how to meet your true needs.
Emotional Eating and the Overeating Cycle
Eating out of habit or for emotional reasons can create a predictable pattern called the Overeating Cycle.
Decode your emotions.
Identifying why you eat is sometimes the easy part.
Many of you shared that you struggle food and want to end emotional eating. Use the fill-in-the-blank script I shared with you in the video to decode you emotions:
- Think about a situation when you are more likely to overeat.
- Identify the emotion(s) you typically experience in that situation.
- Think about what that emotion is telling you about your underlying need(s).
- Now, what is one step you can take to meet that need more effectively than eating?
Please post your insights in the comments section below. (Use your first name only and don’t be concerned if your comment doesn’t show up right away; we have to approve them to prevent spam.)
In this video, I shed light on a very common but often unrecognized trigger for overeating.
(This article was originally published June 23, 2016 and has been updated.)
Did you enjoy this post? Check out these other posts on emotional eating and mindful eating: