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Anon, I'm interested in whether you think you know why you are an emotional eater?

Are there particular times of day or places that you find this happening? Maybe you work at home and find the refrigerator a constant draw (but instead of feeling hungry, you're bored). Maybe you work outside the home, but the vending machines keep calling your name (and instead of satisfying you, they only make you want more). Maybe there are things you are worried about, stress in your life, that you can't control right now (so you eat, because it provides comfort).

A lot of how to curb emotional eating is the act of figuring out what is driving you to do it. During the times in my life when I seem out of control about food, there are usually other things that I feel out of control about as well.

The problem is this: We are feeding our feelings. But the food doesn't actually fix our feelings -- and our feelings never get full -- so we keep eating.

The Mayo Clinic has a good page on emotional eating, including the link between mood and food. There are also lots of links on their page:


If you feel like delving into your feelings a little bit, Psychology Today has an emotional eating/ eating disorders test that you can take, anonymously, online. There are questions that ask how you feel in certain food situations, when you go overboard, and what kinds of things we associate with food. It's a very interesting quiz:


And here are Prevention Magazine's tips for overcoming emotional eating. They call it "Satisfying Mind Hunger" and there are several very cool articles:


And the one thing I'd encourage you to do is stop thinking of yourself as "bad" or "good." It honestly doesn't do us any good to do that to ourselves, even though we fall into the trap all the time. When you are emotionally eating, note that you are and see what it is that's going on that's causing it -- but see it objectively, not with criticism. You're just observing yourself so that you have more information, and because you want to eat more healthfully and in control. You'll do it; sometimes it just takes a little time and introspection or support (Overeaters Anon is great, like Bargain Lover suggested) to figure out what's going on beneath the surface.

Take care, and let us know how you're doing.

May 25, 2009 - 6:45am


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