Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Emotional Triggers Behind Eating

You just got into a knockdown-dragout fight with your spouse. Or your kid. Or your mom. Or the guy behind you in the checkout line. Your reaction is to head for the kitchen to soothe yourself with something smooth, fattening, creamy, sugary, salty, or crunchy — pick your poison.

Sound familiar? If so, you're an emotional eater. But you've probably figured that out already. You've probably also figured out that unhealthy overeating leads not only to weight gain but to a destructive pattern of anxiety and self-loathing that's tough to break on your own. Want to break the cycle? I'm here to help.

You've got to start by facing the fact that there will never be a totally stress-free time in your life. There. That's as bad as it gets. Now on to the good news: You can stop emotional eating. The key is to identify the things that make you feel pressured, sad, angry, or anxious. Once you understand your triggers, you can break the cycle and start regaining control of when, why, and how you eat.

The best way to identify your emotional triggers is through self-examination. Face your issues. Bring them out of your subconscious and into your conscious reality. This is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.

To change the present, you have to let go of your past. Forget about the times when you binged because you were upset, hurt, angry, or depressed. The past does not define you; the present does. Having a crystal clear vision of the future affects your behavior now. Let your daily actions be governed by your game plan for a new you. Keep that game plan in the forefront of your mind by writing about it and letting it become real. There's no deadline. Just commit to the process and take it day by day.


  1. Emmi, this is so true for me, Hugs Lisa

  2. Proof positive that this is me......I ate 3 pieces of cake last nite waiting for my husband to get home from having "a drink" with a friend of his.  He called at 7:30 to tell me that and got home around 10!!!!  I just kept getting madder by the minute, waiting for him, and before I knew it, 3 pieces down my throat.  But I paid dearly for it the rest of the nite with an upset stomach!!!!  Lesson learned the hard way I guess.

  3. I am so behind on journals.  This one was great and I am really have been working on this one too!!!  Helped me lose 20 lbs!!