Emotional eating

  • Hey there chickies,

    I don't know how to put this other than just to say it, I am most definitely an emotional eater. I have tried tons of weight loss plans and I have such a hard time sticking to them because my emotional issues get lost in comfort food. To give you an example of how distorted my thinking can be (not to beat myself up) but last week I had minor surgery and I was planning out afterward, not the healthiest choice of comfort food, tasty, food. The nurse even said don't get fattening food today because your body is recovering but I ate fattening food anyways. I know its not good for me, and I do want to lose the weight but it seems like in times of desperation or just pure wanting something bad of my own free will, I have a hard time sticking to structure and I give into comfort food. I know that there are good coping skills out there to cope with emotions and that food doesn't really solve anything, if anything just can make things worse sometimes, but somehow that doesn't register at the time. A lot of my meals are pretty healthy, right now I am working on following South Beach and my typical breakfast, lunch and dinner following the Beach's guidelines. Then it's when I decide to give in and have my 'splurges' that starts with one bagel and croissant once a week, then becomes almost a daily frappucino, little bit of candy here and there and occasional dinners out, that I am totally side tracked. I'm not sure what to do. I think its okay to have some leeway in a diet but I feel like I have too much wiggle room and am not going to lose weight this way, may even gain. I can't really be physically active right now except for walking due to physical limitations.

    Does anyone else struggle with emotional eating, and if so, what helps you? All suggestions welcome, thanks so much
  • Guuurrlll. Oh man I completely understand. This is something I've struggled with for years and finally decided to do something about. I found a couple great resources that helped a ton. The first was a workbook called "Food and Feelings". It sounds pretty cheezy and I was pretty embarrassed about using it so I never told anyone but I actually found it very helpful.

    If you're not into that, you MUST read "Eat what you love, love what you eat" by Michelle May. In fact, every person trying to lose weight should read that book. I found it to be revolutionary.

    Emotional eating is still something I struggle with but these resources have helped me in ways I can't explain.
    good luck!!
  • Ye, I am definitely an emotional eater. I love my Dad and he is a great man but I don't think he realized how his words effected me. It started when I was about 12 years old. I started gaining a little bit of weight and he would always tell me "You would be pretty if you lost some weight". That really hurt. It made me eat more. I eventually started sneaking food out of the fridge at night after my parents went to bed. I was about 170lbs in the 7th grade. I got made fun of in school for my weight, which led to more eating.
    I was about 160lbs when I met my Husband. About 3 years after having my Son I got down to 147lbs. Then I started having medical issues and also got pregnant with my second child. I gained 50lbs. Then 9 months after having my second child, I got pregnant with my 3rd. After having her I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. They put me on all kinds of meds that made me gain weight. Turns out I had postpartum depression. I had gained a total of 115lbs in three or four years.
    I still feel sorry for myself quite often and want to pig out on junk but I have been resisting. It is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. I started weight watchers and I am really going to give it my best shot.
    I am sorry you have emotional eating issues...it is the hardest thing in the world to overcome. Good luck to you.
  • I am an emotional eater. Right now I would like to be a stress eater but am doing my best to fight it. I try to eat lower fat/calorie things that go a long way when I *MUST* eat. For example rather than fight it I will eat some popcorn or some dry cereal (can you say chocolate cheerios!) then at least I am not too guilty (which generally results in eating even more). Basically, I am saying that sometimes the "requirement" to eat is too overwhelming to fight so I manage it with better choices.
  • I never wanted to admit I was an emotional eater, but after months of eating well and tracking calories, losing 4 or 5lbs a month I had some huge stressors in my life and some depression. Not only did I fall off the counting wagon I also stopped exercising like I was. I craved fast food and binged on stuff in the house. I am really trying to fight it, but there's soo much stress at work right now it's been soooo hard.

    I must admit, I'm an emotional eater... *sigh*
  • Oh my goodness I'm SUCH an emotional eater. I remember when I'd first given up carbs hubs and I were at the mall - my car was having problems, my job was stressful and I was at the end of my rope. I wanted everything I couldn't have - pretzels from the pretzel place, cookies from Mrs. Fields, A chocolate drink from Gloria Jeans, etc.

    The cravings were so bad that they were almost primal - I was sure I NEEDED those things to soothe myself and I literally started crying in the middle of the mall because I was overwhelmed with feelings and was trying to deny myself access to my coping mechanism.

    It was awful but I worked through it by actually allowing myself to "own" my feelings. I was feeling frustrated, stressed, angry, worried - I listed all the things I was actually feeling. Then I asked myself if eating was likely to help any of those things.

    It worked for me in that desperate moment so now it's my standard operating procedure. I literally mentally list all the things I'm feeling, identify why I'm feeling that way and then logically work it through. There may be something I can do to alleviate the situation but unless I'm feeling hungry food isn't it.
  • Quote: It was awful but I worked through it by actually allowing myself to "own" my feelings. I was feeling frustrated, stressed, angry, worried - I listed all the things I was actually feeling. Then I asked myself if eating was likely to help any of those things.

    It worked for me in that desperate moment so now it's my standard operating procedure. I literally mentally list all the things I'm feeling, identify why I'm feeling that way and then logically work it through. There may be something I can do to alleviate the situation but unless I'm feeling hungry food isn't it.
    Ditto on this! I've started the process of getting a lot more in touch with my actual feelings. I think I never really learned the proper way to process my emotions, so my subconscious was telling me to get rid of them by eating them. All it ever did was make it worse. Once you allow yourself to really get in touch with your feelings, you can eradicate them, or let them go. And there is no weakness in having emotions; the weakness lies in trying to escape them.