Did you know you can lose weight online, and access the CalorieKing.com.au Program (13 weeks of practical information on all aspects of weight control)? Learn more
Am I an emotional eater?
Emotional eating can be viewed on a continuum. Rare occurrences of emotional eating are not a problem, but repeat episodes do need attention, and severe emotional eating usually requires the insight and aid of an eating disorders specialist. Viewing emotional eating on a continuum then, the question to ask is: Where do you fit in – is your emotional eating rare, occasional or constant? If you almost always use food in one or more of the following situations it is likely that your emotional eating is problematic.
- I turn to food when I am frustrated
- I eat after an argument
- When I feel bad about myself, I eat
- When I am bored, I eat too much
- If I anticipate a lonely weekend, I stock up on junk food
- I keep eating even after I am full
- When I feel unappreciated, I eat lots of junk food
- I eat when I am depressed
- I eat when I don't know what else to do
- I eat junk food when I am feeling uncertain
Gaining control through fulfillment
How do you find fulfillment in your life?
Emotional eating is ultimately about a lack of fulfillment. When you are unsatisfied with your life and don’t feel worthy, you eat to fill the absence and to distract yourself from your discontent. The best answer to emotional eating then is finding fulfillment and learning to be happy with yourself and your life. Easier said than done, of course, but here are some pointers in the right direction:
- Turn to others - Instead of always trying to meet your needs yourself, learn to ask for help. Isolation and emotional eating go hand in hand, so keep in touch with supportive friends and family.
- Fake it ‘til you make it - There's surprising power in pretending. Get out of the "I have no control" mode and get into "I do have control of my life and food" mode. Even if you don't believe it at first, your behaviour has a way of catching up with your self-talk.
- Find purpose and meaning - Make sure your life is filled with things that mean more to you than food. Maintain good friendships, take an art or music appreciation course, volunteer for a charity organisation, campaign for a cause you believe in – anything that gives you a feeling of purpose and connects you to the rest of the world.
- Be thankful - At the end of each day, list three things you’re thankful for. You won't need food to feel better if you are fulfilled, have more fun, have a sense of purpose, and are aware of the small pleasures in your life.