How do you identify if you’re an emotional eater? Let me start by saying that many of us are emotional eaters; you’re not alone. We tend to celebrate success with food and/or drink. Many of us also feel a comfort from food when we are feeling down, angry, bored, etc. Ask yourself some questions to determine if you are an emotional eater. Take time with these questions… write them down and answer them honestly.
- Do you seek out food when you are stressed?
- Do you feel out of control around food?
- Do you eat to the point where you feel overstuffed or sick?
- Do you reward yourself with food?
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
- Do you search for anything to eat when you are having a craving that you cannot seem to satisfy?
- Does food feel like a friend to you; does it comfort you?
- Do you feel ashamed when you eat?
- Do you hide food from others?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then I would highly encourage you to start journaling. Recently, I blogged about journaling not only your food but also your emotions attached to it. I addressed how this can help you identify behaviors that could prevent you from achieving your fitness and health goals. I discussed how you should not only write down your food intake (calories, macros, etc.); but also journal your emotions before and after you eat. This is the first step in the process of tackling emotional eating. By identifying your triggers, you can learn to incorporate other behaviors to change those patterns.
The next few weeks I plan to blog about how to get emotional eating under control and about binge eating. While emotional eating is not considered a psychological disorder, binge eating (among other eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia) is considered one. Behavioral psychology can help you make changes for the better. The first step is identifying and acknowledging that you may have an issue with any of the above.