3 Characteristics Of An Emotional Overeater

3-4Characteristics of Emotional Overeating

1. They overeat to suppress feelings.

2. They choose comfort foods (not broccoli) and feel guilty about it.

3. They short-circuit their best problem solving skills by using food to cope with strong emotions.

Resource:*Shrink Yourself, Roger Gould, MD, Publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 2007

Read More

Are You an Emotional Overeater?

“The following tips may help you determine if you are an emotional overeater.”

Emotional OvereaterCharacteristics of emotional hunger and physical hunger.

Physical Hunger

  • Is a slow process
  • Will wait for food
  • Awareness of what is eaten and stop when full
  • Healthy food will satisfy
  • Has not guilt associated with it
  • Results from physiological need
  • Can savor each bite

 

Emotional Hunger

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Demands food immediately
  • Rarely notice what has been eaten and wants more food after full
  • Only preferred indulgence will seem appealing
  • Results in guilt with promises to do better next time
  • Results from some emotional trigger
  • Will stuff food

Resource: *Shrink Yourself, Roger Gould, MD, Publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 2007

Read More

Overcoming Emotional Overeating

Steps to stop emotional overeationg

“For those who struggle with emotional overeating food is used do a job it can’t.”

halt2Although, food offers us a lot, including nourishment and pleasure, there is so much more we need that food cannot offer.

For those who struggle with emotional overeating food is used do a job it can’t.

 

For example:

  • When you’re tired food will not provide rest.
  • When you’re angry it will not resolve the internal conflict.
  • When you’re lonely it will not provide the human connection so desperately longed for.
  • It will not provide self-acceptance.
  • It will not provide direction.
  • It will not take action on your behalf.

There is so much it can’t do but yet it becomes an automatic fix for everything. People who use food to manage their lives are often so focused on what is going on outside them that they don’t recognized what is going on inside them. They attend to external things and other people but seldom get around to attending to themselves. When they have a need rather than stopping and addressing it they sense discomfort and eat. This quieten’s the part that cries out “pay attention” long enough to focus on the next demand.

When you don’t recognize your own needs you aren’t equipped to address them. This perpetuates the cycle of need, discomfort, eating, need discomfort eating, etc. Added to this cycle is shame. Shame because somehow you don’t feel important enough to be taken care of and shame because you feel out of control when it comes to managing food.

The Twelve Step folks have a teaching called H.A.L.T. This acronym addresses our most basis needs. It warns us to not get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely or too Tired. Notice that two of these are emotional and two are physical.

I want to encourage you the next time you experience discomfort and a compulsion to get something to eat right now to ask yourself.

Homework

The next time you experience discomfort and a compulsion to get something to eat right now to ask yourself.

Am I:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • or Tired?

What is it you really need and how can you get it? Eat before you get too hungry. Rest when you are tired. Ask yourself, what is the anger about and what do you need to do to do to address it. If you’re lonely reach out to someone. It is a journey and becoming aware of what is going on inside you and addressing it is a step in the right direction.

It’s something to think about!

Share Button
Read More