Emotional Eating, Overeating, and Binge Eating Behavior

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Emotional Eating, Overeating, and Binge Eating Behavior

See YouTube video HERE

Note:  It’s important to distinguish the difference between clinically diagnosed eating disorders.  I am not addressing diagnosed disorders, I am addressing behaviors.

At one point or another, I believe nearly everyone has eaten food for a reason other than being physiologically hungry.  There are many reasons we eat.

  • Boredom
  • Fear of missing out
  • To connect with others over a meal
  • To distract ourselves
  • Pleasure
  • Stress relief

This last one, Stress Relief, is something I have been learning to manage for a long time.  Food is comfort to me.  Food can fill voids in life that are painful.  Mindless eating can easily get out of control, and binge eating behavior in high stress situations can sabotage our efforts at self care.

Before we try to “FIX” this behavior, it’s important to recognize that the behavior is not the problem, it’s the solution in the moment.

Before we beat ourselves up, judge, and criticize ourselves for being willpower weaklings, let’s pause for a moment.

We are not broken; we do not need to be fixed.

Binge eating behavior is a coping mechanism.  It’s a form of attempted self care, and it DOES bring relief in the moment.  It can also sabotage our long term goals.

When we feel the need to binge eat a food, what if instead of fighting the urge, we did the opposite?  What if we welcomed the experience?

When we stop and give thanks to this behavior for bringing to light our need for comfort, we are practicing self-care.

When we give ourselves PERMISSION to eat whatever we want, then it counteracts the stress response and allows us to relax.  In a relaxation response, even when we are eating foods that are not “nutritionally dense,” our bodies can process and assimilate the foods we eat.

Sometimes we choose foods that nourish our bodies, and sometimes we choose foods that nourish our souls.

Next time you feel the need to overeat or binge-eat food, I invite you to RITUALIZE THE BINGE.

Mindfully and with intention, Set you environment for soothing.  Soothing, after all, is typically the desire we have when we binge.

Soft music, use your nice dishes, light a candle.  Create an environment where you can enjoy the food.  SLOW DOWN.   If you’re going to eat it anyway, doesn’t it make sense to enjoy it rather than eat it mindlessly and quickly without actually tasting the food?

Give yourself permission.

Self acceptance, self care, self love – this is the royal road to peace and harmony within myself.  This is the royal road to healing.

Do you have tips or strategies that have helped you along the way?

I’d love to hear from you.  You can email me at: CoachRobin@potterwellfit.com

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