Top Cause of Emotional Eating and How to Overcome It

Top Cause of Emotional Eating and How to Overcome It

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Do you know the main cause of emotional eating and how to overcome it?

Emotional eating is a very real problem MANY women.

But emotional eating is manageable because you can nip this problem in the bud before it grows roots and takes over your life.

First, you need to know the MOST common trigger for women that cause emotional eating to rear its ugly head.

Second, you need to know what you can do to eliminate the trigger.

Third, you need to ACT right away.  Don’t assume that the problem will go away on its own.

Most women do not even realize that they are emotional eaters because the problem doesn’t have visible consequences until much later… and that’s what makes it so insidious.

Emotional eating not only affects you mentally but physically too.

Millions of women all over the world suffer from emotional overeating.

Many are not even aware of what is causing emotional eating and how to cope with it.

Now more than ever, you need to be aware of what you are eating and how that affects your mental and physical health.

Food MUST be treated as fuel and not therapy.

Truth is, we need to eat to fill our stomach and not our heart.

This is the leading cause of emotional eating. You eat when you are not hungry.

Do you know the main cause of emotional eating and how to fix it?

Herein lies the problem…  let’s see what causes emotional eating and how to fix it.

Stress: The #1 Cause Of Emotional Eating And How to Deal with It

Stress is the leading cause of most health problems in the world today.emotional eating and how to

No matter how you look at it, a stressful lifestyle either directly or indirectly affects your health. We live in a pressure cooker society these days.

Everybody wants everything fast. Microwaves, instant text messaging, miracle diet pills… and so many other contraptions just to get fast results.

People also expect financial success, relationships made in heaven without any work and a body of a Greek God in 2 weeks. All these expectations of speed and efficiency creates a very hectic lifestyle that moves along at breakneck speed.

Most women think that they can handle it, but what they don’t realize is that even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. A stressed out rat that eats whatever it can find.

All levity aside, the truth is that when you lead a stressful life, you’ll feel emotionally drained or empty.

You’ll just be a cog in the machine that keeps spinning or pumping away but your life seems to have lost meaning.

Learn To Take Things One Day AT A Time

It gets worse when dreams take a long time to become a reality.   You can’t build a business that makes you financially independent overnight. It takes time.

And YES..it takes a lifetime of work to keep a relationship or marriage healthy.  And IF it fails  despite your best efforts to make it work, it takes time to heal from the loss.

Millions of women suffer from depression, sadness and many other negative emotions because of this.

They are struggling with chronic stress in their personal and professional life.  They want fast results and they want them now. How do they cope when life doesn’t move at their pace? They fret, curse and stress themselves out.

Men may turn to alcohol, sex or food. Women usually turn to food.

Eating becomes the #1 mechanism for women to manage the chronic stress.

Are You Guilty Of Emotional Eating? How to Stop The Cycle!

Let’s be clear, if you eat when you’re not hungry, it’s emotional eating. If you’re already full but you’re still reaching for a bag of cookies, it’s emotional eating.

Do you constantly go to the fridge to eat whatever you can find?  You are an emotional eater.stop emotional eating habits

If you aimlessly walk around the supermarket dumping junk food in your basket to eat at home later, you are an emotional eater.

While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in the occasional dessert or a glass of wine, emotional eaters do this daily and they do it all the time.

Their lives revolve around food and they eat mindlessly. There is a total lack of awareness.

Recognize anything mentioned above?

Those are the signs of emotional overeating.

If you’re just following the motions and you don’t even realize just how much food is going into your mouth, you’re overeating.

You’re either stressed out or compensating for some other feelings.

How to Overcome Emotional Eating Triggered by Stress

The first step to overcoming this cause is awareness. You must always stop yourself before you eat and ask, “Am I hungry?”

If the answer is no, dump the food. You do not need it. Now you need to examine your life. You’ll have to be brutally honest in your self-reflection.

Are you unhappy with your job? Or are you in a marriage that has lost its luster? Maybe you’re unemployed and feel worthless?

Whatever the case may be, there will be underlying causes. You need to address these ASAP.

If your job is stressing you out, you’ll need to take steps to relieve the stress with techniques such as exercise, aromatherapy, adult coloring, gardening or something that works for you. Food is NOT the answer.

If you’re exhausted after a day’s work, go to bed early and wake up refreshed. Don’t vegetate in front of the TV and gobble up whatever you find. The sleep will work wonders but the food will make you wonder why nothing works in your life.

Depression caused by stress can often be relieved by being part of a community of  women beating chronic stress or talking to someone.  There are many things you can do to stop stress eating when things get stressful.

Replace Old habits with New Habits To Stop Emotional Eating

You can only overcome emotional eating by being mindful and slowly taking steps to break this habit.

Start with a food and exercise journal and see just WHEN you eat and HOW MUCH you’re eating. Then, slowly try and cut down your food consumption in stages. Try not to go cold turkey all at once.

This will just make it more stressful and you might find yourself binge eating at night.

Learn to Distinguish Between Real Hunger and Emotional Hungerwhy do I eat when I'm not hungry

Since you’ve read this far, you know that stress is THE main cause of emotional eating for women and how to analyze it.

Now you need to learn how to treat it!

The best way to treat emotional eating is to be mindful of your eating. Like the saying goes, “Eat to live and not live to eat.”

You must be able to tell when you’re actually hungry.

Real hunger usually makes your stomach growl. If you find yourself reaching for food when you’re not hungry, you’ll need to ask yourself why you’re doing it.

Are you stressed? Is this a habit or mechanism to self-soothe? Will eating the food make you feel better?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you need to stop and go do something else instead of eating.

You must actively break the habit. You need to learn break the cycle of emotional eating and how to comfort yourself without comfort foods.

Grocery Shopping 101 To Stop Emotional Eating Habits

When you go grocery shopping, do NOT purchase foods that you know you should not be eating.

Cookies, ice cream, cakes, chips and all the other pleasure foods should be avoided. You do not want these foods lying around the house constantly calling out your name and tempting you.emotional eating coping strategies

You could buy a small box of cookies or a small tub of ice cream just to make it easier on yourself… but just one item.

So, even if you give in to temptation and raid the fridge, you only have one item that you’ll feel like eating. The damage won’t be that bad.

If it’s not in the refrigerator, you’ll not eat it and probably go do something else like read or sleep. It may seem extreme to do this but this is a problem that requires extreme measures.

Stop Emotional Eating Habits In Just 4 Weeks…

After just four weeks of mindful eating, you’ll notice that you are getting a better grip on emotional eating and how to overcome it.

You’ll notice that your weight is dropping and you’re more aware of what you eat. You’ll be more in tune with how you feel and realize that you’ve been medicating with food.

From here on, things will get better.

You’ll stop soothing yourself with food. Instead, food will be for fuel and sustenance and you’ll make better eating choices.

You’ll start looking and feeling better. Always remember that whatever your problem may be, the answer is not in the fridge.

As long you keep that in mind and act accordingly, you will overcome emotional eating.

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Darlene Berkel

Stress Resilience & Life Transitions Coach Darlene is passionate about helping ambitious women 40+ conquer chronic stress and overcome whatever life throws at them. Combining personal experience, proven stress management activities and divine guidance, Darlene delivers top-tier products and services that have allowed committed women to face their challenges without losing steam.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. We’ve both got a slightly different take on this since I do weight coaching, but I really do believe emotional eating is what causes overweight in at least 99% of the population, and it is definitely curable. I know. I was a huge emotional eater for decades, and I don’t do it now. Many of my clients have conquered it too. Dieting doesn’t fix that.

    1. @Shari So true…I agree! Dieting does NOT cure emotional eating. Dealing with the underlying stressors/emotions is the only solution. Food should be used as fuel, NOT as therapy. When we use food as therapy to deal with emotional stress, the result is overweight 99.99% of the time. Stress and weight problems are often inter-related. Stress can cause us to over eat, or to engage in emotional eating, which triggers weight gain. Weight gain then leads to health problems, lowered self esteem and….MORE stress!! Breaking that vicious cycle is crucial for health and happiness!

  2. I had a job as a technical writer (computer manuals) that I hated. I was 105 pounds when I got hired and 125 pounds a year later. I thought I was a failure for not liking the job. (I kept getting something to eat at the deli next door as a way to avoid doing my work.) I finally quit the job and went back to school to be a teacher for less pay but more happiness. And a year later I was back at 105 pounds. This is a good reminder to look at how I still sometimes overeat. (I’m 112 pounds now, but also middle aged and more muscular from daily trips to the gym than when I was a tech writer.)

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Karen, it’s so inspirational. Because you hated that job, you would snack…that’s a classic emotional eater. Eating for therapy and not for food. You dealt with the underlying stressor by quitting a job you hated and getting a job you are passionate about ( i.e.teaching). Even though it paid less you were HAPPIER and HEALTHIER! Well worth the trade off!

  3. I know I’m an emotional eater so I have to watch it. I love food. I don’t snack between breakfast and lunch but get hungry in the afternoon and crave cheese. Since I started walking 5-6 miles every morning I’m losing weight so that helps. At least I’m not into junk food or sugar.

    1. Rebecca, cheese is one of my biggest weaknesses. I Love cheese. 🙂 Recognizing that you are an emotional eater is half the battle and walking 5-6 miles every morning is the other half of the battle! Sounds like you are doing everything right. 🙂 Keep it up.

  4. Such an important post with great advice. Thanks for sharing it.

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