What is Emotional Eating?

I’m sure many of us have come to realise from being quarantined that staying safe is more than washing our hands and wearing masks. It’s also about maintaining our emotional wellbeing in the midst of uncertainties and changes. Having a good relationship with food is no exception. Research has shown that our eating behaviour associates with our emotional state. With fewer distractions working from home, it’s easy to turn to eating as a coping mechanism to the negative emotions that we experience – emotional-eating (including bingeing) is then more likely to occur. Whilst eating can afford a temporary relief to stress or even boredom, it’s certainly not a solution. Whether you have disordered eating previously or are now seeing patterns in your eating habits, Nina Savelle-Rocklin Psy.D., psychoanalyst, radio host on LA Talk, and author of “The Binge Cure: 7 Steps To Outsmart Emotional Eating”, is here to help you identify the binge-eating triggers and coping strategies to break free from emotional eating cycles as a result of the pandemic.

Recognising Signs: Am I Emotional Eating or just Overeating?

 Dr. Nina defines emotional eating as “using food to comfort, distract, or to numb or express pain, anger, anxiety, or anything uncomfortable.” And that’s a huge distinction from overeating.   Overeating is “eating to excess” and usually related to hunger. Do you find yourself:
  • Eating too much for one meal because you’re so hungry and don’t eat enough/skip meals during the day?
  • Having too much of a certain food because it’s delicious, and think to yourself “I ate too much, but I’ll cut back tomorrow”?
  Emotional eating, on the other hand, is a coping strategy with painful or difficult feelings. Do you find yourself:
  • Snacking throughout the day?
  • Eating a large quantity of food in a short time and feeling remorseful or shameful afterwards?

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