Updated: Nov 29, 2022
In my experience working with clients, emotional eating is incredibly common. But that doesn't mean it's healthy.
To be honest, if I look at my family, I see that emotional eating is in some way part of our family "culture". Difficult day at work? Chocolate. Under a lot of stress? Get the chips out. Feeling stressed that you've been eating all the chocolate and chips? How about more chocolate and chips!
Alright, I'm kidding, but behind each joke there's always some truth, right?
When I talk to people about their eating habits, and start to talk about emotional eating, most people find it easy to self-identify as being emotional eaters (or not!).
But, in case you might be sitting on the fence about whether you do actually struggle with emotional eating, here are some questions to ask yourself:
1) Do you find that you ;are eating when you are feeling stressed?
2) Do you find that you are eating to the point of feeling overly full or feeling sick?
3) Do you feel like your eating is out of control?
4) Do you eat when you have negative emotions? (note: some people will emotionally eat with positive emotions, but this is less common.)
5) Do you find that eating brings you peace and helps you feel calm?
6) Do you reward or motivate yourself with food?
Now, if you've answered "yes" to a couple of these questions (or maybe more than a couple!), it's a really good idea to start planning your journey to healthier eating habits. We recommend that you connect with a few different health professionals to support you as you learn to move away from emotional eating. Dietitians are a really important aspect of your journey. At Habits for Health we focus on emotional eating, and our dietitians have additional training and experience helping people with emotional eating moving towards healthier eating habits. We can help you understand you eating habits, and coach you into new, healthier habits.
We also recommend seeing a counsellor, therapist or psychologist, who can help you manage those stressful underlying emotions that drive emotional eating, as well as finding a supportive GP to help organise care and manage medication if needed.
If you need us, we have Dietitians in Mandurah (at Lakelands), Wanneroo, and in the City at East Perth. We've helped many people struggling with emotional eating just like you, and we can help you achieve a healthier life too. Book in online or contact us today to get started.