Emotional eating is actually just eating, according to Rachel Eddins in this comprehensive article that’s worth taking time for.
That’s because food and eating are inextricably linked to with such things as culture, pleasure, love, and safety. And that’s why efforts to eat only when you are physically hungry often fail. It’s when the balance of eating for emotional and physical reasons tips toward the emotional that emotional eating becomes problematic.
The article discusses how to tell if hunger is physical vs. emotional; emotional eating misconceptions, symptoms, and triggers; and multiple strategies for regaining balance. Her 5th strategy is my favorite, and has transformed my eating.
She also covers various forms of emotional eating including overeating, compulsive eating, and binging, and the differences between them.
Rachel is a counselor in Houston, Texas whose practice focuses on healing emotional eating. Because of this she has a wealth of background in what women actually need to find peace with food. (She and I are partners in the creating of the Beyond Emotional Eating virtual course which is being redesigned for Fall 2018.)
Food is much more than a source of nutrition and energy. Food is ingrained in our social lives, work events, and even family legacies. For most people, food carries some sort of meaning, whether that’s pleasure, comfort, tradition, shame, or a combination of all that and more.