Wouldn’t it be nice to stop emotional binge eating forever?
Someone asked me this recently, saying “I just want to stop eating emotionally!”
I took a deep breath and explained to them, “Even normal people around food emotionally eat. We evolved around food. It’s okay to manage your emotions with food, to a degree.”
So what does stopping emotional eating and binge eating really mean? Do you even have a problem?
And you do have an emotional eating problem, what can you do about it?
By browsing this article you’ll:
- Discover the symptoms of problematic emotional eating
- Understand the underlying pattern causing your emotional eating
Now please keep in mind this post is the first in a three-part series about Emotional Eating…
This information is intended to be digested slowly…
Perhaps you sip on some coffee and take some notes …
And go through, skimming lightly, highlighting, etc …
Here’s what stopping emotional binge eating boils down to in a nutshell:
1 – You Can’t Accept Or Tolerate A Negative Feeling – You have difficult accepting a negative feeling or you don’t have the ability to sit with the feeling
2 – You Escape The Bad Feeling Using Food – Other people turn to gambling, alcohol, shopping, sex, the internet, etc. Food is your escape. Do not berate yourself for this. Let’s just be honest. You can solve this bad habit but it takes willingness to recognize the pattern
3 – Experience Greater Distress Afterwards – after you temporarily escape the stress and negative feeling comes back, but even worse. This creates another negative emotion which you can’t sit with or tolerate.
4 – To Break This Cycle You Must Accept The Emotion – you might not want the emotion, but it’s there. Don’t blame yourself or guilt trip yourself. Don’t feel like a failure for feeling bad. Everyone feels bad. It’s okay to feel bad. Accept this so that you can sit with the emotion.
5 – Willingly Sit With The Emotion – process the emotion, feel the emotion in your body, soothe yourself with calming gestures and by speaking to yourself in a warm tone of voice
6 – Make Self-Care Choice – here’s the beautiful thing, if you try self-care first and you still want food afterwards, you can have the food. Just try journaling, going on a walk, taking a hot shower, calling a friend, etc before having the food
Stop Emotional Binge Eating Forever
Do you really never want to comfort yourself with food again?
And you don’t have to.
All you have to do …
Is understand WHAT emotional eating IS.
Quick story – a construction worker just came into my free workshop I host in the Bay Area. We talked. And I said, “You know when you get really pissed off and then eat food to feel better? That’s emotional eating.“
He looked sad. He said, “Really!? I didn’t know that. That’s pretty much the only thing I do when I get pissed off.“
Now in a moment I’ll cover some symptoms of problematic Emotional Eating …
But the basic of problematic Emotional Eating …
(As opposed to regular emotional eating, which everyone does and is okay)
Is that you NEARLY ALL THE TIME use FOOD to COPE with Negative Emotions.
Do you have a problem with Emotional Eating?
Here are some questions commonly asked to determine if you have an Emotional Eating Disorder (according HelpGuide.com).
(Side note: I think these questions highlight very well the different aspects of Emotional Eating and where Emotional Eating might show up in your life. However, the same rule applies. These are only problematic when you primarily use food in these situations to handle negative emotions. I’m not trying to scare you because yes, these are pretty general.)
- Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
- Think: do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
- Do you reward yourself with food?
- Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
- Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
- Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?
From Stuck Emotional Eater To Aware Emotional Eater
The first thing this construction did to transform his emotional eating …
(and one of the most neglected steps)
Was to admit, realize, and open up about Emotional Eating.
He also exhibited TONS of courage by admitting he primarily used food to cope with tough times.
I want to highlight this transformation in becoming aware …
Because I have met soooo many people who are STUCK trying to lose weight …
Not because they are lazy.
Not because they lack willpower or have bad genes …
Simply because they have an image in their head …
That they AREN’T an Emotional Eater.
Yet once this guy ADMITTED HIS POWERLESSNESS…
He was able to open his eyes and see …
The Underlying Cycle of Emotional Eating
And this my friend, is the KEY on how you can stop emotional eating forever.
You MUST realize …
These 3 pillars.
- Emotional Eating is CAUSED by negative emotion.
- Using Food helps you feel better but …
- Is ONLY temporary
By investigating these aspects, which you can dive more into in “How to stop emotional eating and lose weight in the Bay Area, part 2“…
And this guy …
He was able to SEE into his patterns. He was able to clearly see he was stressed at work and what he could do about it.
And this INSIGHT is what enabled him to change A LOT of his habits.
He had to pay close attention and really bring awareness to negative emotions and had to realllly notice how feeling good from food was ONLY temporary.
He had to study this link deeply, in his mind and body.
I helped him get insight into these behaviors by asking him pointed, powerful and insightful questions so he was able to make significant progress.
Not to say that he stopped emotional eating forever, no.
But he was able to SHIFT the pattern, and start growing new habits. Hopefully over time he will be able to become an intuitive eater.
(which you can do!)
In fact, if you’d like to shift patterns around emotional eating, I’m offering a Beat Binge and Emotional Eating FREE Session designed to give you clarity.
Dozens of people have taken me up on this call and I’ve been fortunate to be able to help.
Now continue on to Post 2 where we dive into the MISCONCEPTIONS holding people back from realizing the 3 core truths of Emotional Eating.