People who are emotional eaters are more likely to feel out of control and stressed. They often lack self confidence and will feel worthless.
Sometimes they will use food as an instant comfort, and at times food will give the same relief or gratification of being rewarded.
Emotional eaters are likely to eat junk food, and therefore may feel guilty after using food as a temporary relief. While eating, emotional eaters may experience numbness or a dulling sensation of their emotions.
Most of these emotions are negative and food is used to alleviate pain or stress. This relief is short lived and emotional eaters will soon resume their negative thoughts and feelings.
We all have days when we’ve just had enough, our emotions are all over the place and we feel out of control. Reaching for our favourite food we can feel arousal, excitement and ultimately comfort.
Chocolate, ice cream, crisps, pizza - whatever your food of choice, you have set up a cognitive, emotional and behavioural habit pattern.
Our associations, beliefs and decisions around food and eating have strong links to our childhood. Your food script is the story you have created about how food will be used in your life, often based on observations and interactions with significant people in our environment growing up.
These influences and decisions from our past are no longer helpful in the present day, so our job is to help you unpick and untangle the unhelpful patterns of emotional eating that you struggle with today.
Triggers for your emotional eating will come from the way you interpret something that is happening in your life. It may be a situation at work, something a loved one has said to you, or a negative thought you have about yourself. This causes you to have an emotion, which swells and grows inside of you.
Depending on the way you have learnt to feel, express and deal with emotions will determine what you do next. If you bottle up the emotion inside, you may have learnt that eating food has the effect of cutting off the emotion you are feeling.
“My life has improved immeasurably since working with WeightMatters, I have new found confidence and have worked to really understand my triggers, which has helped me change my reactions to food - Thank you so much”
Sarah, 25 *
* Disclaimer - Results may vary from person to person
Many of our clients describe how they reach for food to soothe, comfort, numb or distract them from their emotions. We know that it is essential to teach you skills to start teasing apart this association with food, and help you build new ways of managing your emotions.
We can help you build a new system of regulating your emotions away from food, where you can tune in, recognise, work through and let go of your emotions in a way that is healthy for your mind and body.