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Emotional Eating

**The following is an excerpt from my self paced Food Freedom program coming March 1st**

Have you ever described yourself as an emotional eater?

It’s no secret that “emotional eating“ is when we use food so that we will feel better and/or try to fill an emotional need. Eating for purposes other than hunger does not fix our problems - emotional or otherwise. In fact, it almost always makes us feel worse not only because we still have our original problem but we add guilt or shame to the mix.

How do you know if you’re an “emotional eater?”

  • You reward yourself with food

  • You eat to attempt to relieve stress

  • You feel out of control around food

  • You eat when you’re not hungry/already full

  • You look at food as a friend

  • You eat for soothing when you’re mad, sad, anxious

Food is not our entertainment, reward, or comfort. There’s nothing wrong with going out to eat to celebrate if you’re truly hungry when you do. That’s different from using food as your number one coping mechanism. When your first impulse is to eat to solve a problem that is a destructive cycle you want to get out of ASAP.

In order to break that cycle you have to know the difference between your emotional head hunger and real true physical hunger. This is not as easy as it sounds but the good news is it is possible to relearn. When you fix your nutrition and you are eating only nutrient dense foods that are suitable for the human body and satisfying then your hormones begin to regulate and your Leptin and Ghrelin - your hunger and fullness hormones – will repair themselves and you will be able to recognize the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger.

How you identify emotional hunger:

  • Crave specific foods

  • Comes on suddenly

  • Feels urgent

  • Not satisfied by a full stomach

How to identify real physical hunger:

  • Stops when you’ve had enough to eat

  • It can wait - it’s not urgent

  • It happens gradually not suddenly

  • Satisfying it doesn’t result in guilt

  • You’re craving nothing specific

The voice of sabotage will tell you you’re hungry when you’re not. ED will try to convince you that only certain foods will help. ED will always lead you to food as the answer. It’s not the answer.

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