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Emotional Eating

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Old 10-15-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
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Why do we emotionally eat? I know it's because we think it makes us feel better but why do our brain really make us feel like food soothes our problems? I am definitely an emotional eater. I've been stressed out to the max lately and today was just one of those days when so many things seemed to go wrong and all I want to do right now is run to the fridge and drown myself in something sweet or lots of bread.

I hate feeling like food can fix my problems. I know it can't. And right now I'm fighting the temptation to use food to fix my problems by coming here and finding inspiration and advice. Will I ever not want food to fix my problems? Or will I always battle with feeling like food can make me feel better?
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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I wish I knew the answer. I'm also an emotional eater. I'd like to think that it gets better, but I think we may always have this tendency.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #3
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I feel like it's something I'm definitely going to battle with for a long time.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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I'm an emotional eater and a binge eater, too. I didn't think it was possible, but it has improved over-time. The more I manage unpleasant emotions, the easier it gets to manage my desire to binge/emotionally eat.

Something else that helps is avoiding sweets altogether (since I binge on sweets). I don't know the science behind it, but I very strongly suspect that some people's bodies respond very particularly to sugar as well as other chemicals. I find sugar addictive.

Then, there is also the learned habit of soothing myself with food. There have been days it has felt like an addiction, but other days it used to feel like a habit.

I've found those to be the three main reasons behind my own experiences...
If you're frustrated with emotionally eating, I would be implored to ask what hurts, what you want to do/want to happen, whether you feel helpless or that what you do matters, and what you wish was different about what's hurting you. Then, practice methods of coping that heal you and nourish you emotionally.

I also suspect I will be training myself to not emotionally eat for years to come, maybe even the rest of my life. I guess we are not alone in that respect and with the struggle. I only hope that struggle becomes a little easier every day for all of us. Thanks for starting a dialogue!
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:43 AM   #5
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BelovedSpirit thank you for your response. I do hope it becomes easier too.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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This is one of those questions that if there was 1 standard answer and I had it, I'd be a billionaire! lol

All i know for myself is, I finally had to admit that I couldn't find the answers by myself, I had to get some help to find out why I behaved like a spoiled child. .. I was never one to eat if I was stressed, food then would make ne ill, but when I was happy or when wahh things didn't go my way, this fudge will help! nom nom nom eat a whole bunch more you're awesome you deserve it Trace!! nom nom nom LOL

that's over simplified, but not by MUCH Once I got a handle on being a spoiled brat inside, I learned a few simple tools to help me cope with life that, with practice, really worked and really stuck!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trazey34 View Post
This is one of those questions that if there was 1 standard answer and I had it, I'd be a billionaire! lol

All i know for myself is, I finally had to admit that I couldn't find the answers by myself, I had to get some help to find out why I behaved like a spoiled child. .. I was never one to eat if I was stressed, food then would make ne ill, but when I was happy or when wahh things didn't go my way, this fudge will help! nom nom nom eat a whole bunch more you're awesome you deserve it Trace!! nom nom nom LOL

that's over simplified, but not by MUCH Once I got a handle on being a spoiled brat inside, I learned a few simple tools to help me cope with life that, with practice, really worked and really stuck!
^^ THIS IS SO ME. Or maybe former me, since I'm a lot better at dealing with this now. Sometimes I feel like I never outgrew my only child syndrome
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
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Fatty and sugary foods help to stimulate pleasure centers in our brains, causing release of dopamine leading to a temporary rush of happiness, or at least less sadness. Eventually, like any addict, we build a tolerance and it takes more and more to achieve the same "rush", so we look for more and more elaborate/sweeter/yummier foods or we just eat more food altogether. It's a cycle not totally unlike what any other substance abuser might experience. While most professionals don't want to characterize food abuse in the same column as drug or alcohol abuse, the same sort of dynamic is at play.
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