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What Is Emotional Eating And How To Tackle It?

This is Lubnaa ....I am a passionate blogger and I love to write about all beautiful things that Life has given to us.


Do you know it when you sometimes eat when you are actually not hungry at all? Or when you have a big pizza and chocolate after a stupid day? Or when you wrap yourself up on the couch with a large pack of ice cream every now and then? There are many different forms of emotional eating, but they all have one thing in common: You don't necessarily eat because you are hungry, but for a wide variety of reasons, most of which have an emotional origin.

Before I go deeper into emotional eating in this article, I would like to say one thing in advance: Don't worry, it's not a bad thing! Each of us has eaten emotionally at some point in our life. That is a good thing, because after all we are not machines that consume perfectly balanced foods. But what that means exactly and when it can be worthwhile for you to deal with this topic, we will now take a closer look.

The Emotional Food

Emotional eating is a topic that is really close to my heart. I used to deal with a lot of issues with food that food cannot solve. I just didn't know that then. I didn't even know terms like emotional binge eating. I just knew I just wanted to eat normally, but this emotional eating kept coming up. Quite a stressful cycle, which you can imagine if you are dealing with this topic.


What Is Emotional Eating?

Emotional eaters are people who process their emotions more or less often with food. The classic is a frustration eater who eats a lot when he is frustrated. In this situation it usually doesn't matter whether he is really hungry or not. It is not so much about simply eating food, but more about processing the emotions with the food. You feel bad, eat something (usually something you don't normally eat) and then feel better for a short time, distract from the actual problems and also have the feeling to some extent that you have control over your own life.

While the frustration eater is widely known and, to a certain extent, discussed in public (“I need a big chocolate bar after this meeting”), there are other forms of emotional eating as well. An example are people who process extreme but positive emotions with their food, e.g. great feelings of happiness.

In summary, we can say that emotional eaters prefer to process emotions with their food. Especially in situations in which emotions throw us off balance (particularly positive or particularly negative emotions). When the emotion leaves the “normal” equilibrium, eating helps to regain equilibrium.

For many emotional eaters, especially those with frustration, one binge eating leads to the next. If the binge itself also causes emotions, such as anger at ourselves, that is the next reason to eat. The start of a real vicious circle.

Personally, I also like to include stress eaters. Stress is not a classic emotion, but rather a reaction of the body. In many cases, however, this is also triggered by your mindset and the behavior patterns with regard to food are similar.

Is It Bad To Be An Emotional Eater?

No, definitely not. We humans often eat on a whim, either because we're in good company or just because we are. We are often not hungry when we eat and that is perfectly okay.

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But there are situations in which our own behavior can put us under a lot of pressure. Like me back then, when I still ate even though I really didn't want to. I worked totally against myself. This is the moment when we should change something. Let me tell you: it is better to deal with this topic too early than too late.


What could such situations be?

After a bad day, you start by eating something that you normally wouldn't eat. After that you get angry with yourself and still not feel particularly well.
There is something to celebrate and your first thought is: We will celebrate it with a very special meal. Something I usually never eat (e.g. a really big pizza).
If you got up on the wrong leg in the morning and the day doesn't get off to a good start, you think to yourself: “The day is already over! I'll treat myself to a large portion of waffles right away. "
On some days you eat all the foods at once that you actually wanted to leave out. But you usually only do this when you are alone (secret binge eating).
You plan binge eating in advance. Some days you know very well that you are buying all your junk food today and then crawling away at home.

Do you see the pattern Whenever you don't feel better during or after eating (physically and mentally), then you should definitely deal with the topic. Sometimes it feels like we're working against ourselves. We actually want to eat normally or even healthy, and yet it sometimes “overwhelms” us. Then we get annoyed about it, maybe because of that we eat more (“it doesn't matter now”) and begin to distance ourselves from our actual needs. Because from this moment you start to forbid your own behavior, but at the same time you have no alternative.

I could tell you now that we should all ONLY eat when we are hungry. But that really doesn't correspond to reality. We humans are not machines. Of course, it's important to find a balance, but that doesn't mean you can't stop enjoying your food.

How do you stop emotional binge eating?

When you find yourself an emotional eater, it is time to look at the emotional cycle from a different perspective.

Basically, it is about that you are definitely ready to change something. For many of us (including me at the time) this is only the case when the level of suffering is high enough. But the motivation has to come from you.

Then the main thing is to look at the matter from a completely different perspective. My favorite example is that of a weed bed. We tend to just forbid ourselves the unhealthy foods. This equates to cutting off the leaves of the weeds.

What we totally disregard is that the weeds have roots and come back. So there is no point in banning yourself from eating, because that only postpones the problem. Instead, it is important to approach the topic from the roots, because something completely different is usually hidden behind emotional eating behavior.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Lubnaa Parvez

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