Emotional Eating

A topic that is often overlooked or swept under the carpet when it comes to being overweight or obese is the question of, are you eating because you are genuinely hungry, or is there is a deeper reason behind why you head to the fridge or pantry?


There are many reasons why people make certain choices with regard to food, but often those choices don’t revolve around sustenance, balanced nutrition or just being generally healthy.


Sadly, one of the reasons is commonly an individual’s reactive response to a particular event that leads to emotional eating. Be it stress, sadness, anger, boredom or even happiness and using food as a ‘reward’.


For some, it is hard to openly talk about their feelings when it comes to being overweight or obese and addressing the primary problem.


The first step is to identify the behavior or emotion that drives you to eat. Commonly, it is only a habit that a person has allowed themselves to become accustomed to that can be broken to allow a new habit to be formed.


Happiness and joy are two great ways to break the habit of emotional eating, so long as you don’t then use food as a ‘reward’ for your good effort. Other things like going for a short walk outside, doing some body weight squats or some push-ups, or even brushing your teeth are all fantastic methods to break the emotional eating cycle.


If you would prefer a non-physical method, using this simple analogy works a treat for many of my clients. Referring back to a person’s reactive responses to an event, such as an argument or frustration/stress at work, this is often the process a person goes through, they experience a specific event, the reaction occurs, leading to an outcome. By simply pausing and reversing the way you think, you can completely change your outcome and it could be all you need to start making some change. Next time you experience those familiar feelings based around emotions, pause and think of your desired outcome before reacting and turning to food as a solution.

Dan Wagstaff 

Vision Personal Training, Caringbah

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