[Manifesto] 12 Indicative Signs of Emotional Eating

Are you an emotional eater? Here are 12 signs to tell:

12 Indicative Signs of Emotional Eating(Click image for larger version)

Read the full article: 12 Indicative Signs of Emotional Eating

And if you haven’t, be sure to check out my emotional eating series, where I open up about my past emotional eating issues and how I overcame it. The article above is only 1  part of the 6-part series:

  1. How I Overcame Emotional Eating, Part 1: Food as a Symbol of Love
  2. How I Overcame Emotional Eating, Part 2: Deep Entanglement
  3. How I Overcame Emotional Eating, Part 3: Becoming at Peace with Food
  4. 12 Indicative Signs of Emotional Eating (and 7 Reasons Emotional Eating is Bad For You)
  5. How To Stop Emotional Eating: A Crucial Guide, Part 1: Tackling the Causes of Emotional Eating
  6. How To Stop Emotional Eating: A Crucial Guide, Part 2: Rebuilding a Healthy Relationship with Food

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  • Ana

    Hi, Celes.

    First of all thanks for the great work you’ve done with the PE blog :angel:
    On this occasion, however, I slightly disagree with you on the matter of emotional eating. I do have some of the symptoms mentioned in the list, however food does make me extremely happy. Maybe I’m just a hopeless case, but I’m perfectly happy with it. I come from a family where everyone excels in cooking, so in time I developed a huge love for food. Searching for the recipes, altering them according to my tastes, picking the ingredients, cooking and finally eating the end product, every stage of the process makes me extremely happy. In fact it’s like a therapy, even though I always end up cooking enough to feed the whole salvation army. I do share my works of gastronomy with friends, nonetheless I’m still left with large amounts of food, which I end up enjoying by myself (as you said, some people are starving, so how could I possibly throw away the precious food :rolleyes: )
    In the past I tried adopting a so called healthy life-style, but ended up feeling absolutely miserable, both because I was starving and because I hated the “healthy” eating pattern my nutritionist, fitness instructor and physician forced on me. This healthy life style lasted for about two years, after which I ceased to pursue the generally desired image that made me feel like a human wreck. For me food is not just food, it’s one of those small things that make my day, just like going out during spring time and smell the morning fresh air, or make snow angels. This was the exact sensation I felt when I decided to quit my healthy charade, went in the kitchen, grabbed myself a massive piece of freshly out of the oven sponge cake and ate until the skin on my belly stretched.
    Another similar experience is my time studying abroad, when under no circumstances could I adjust to the British food. I was constantly thinking about food and was even dreaming about food. I felt frustrated and slowly turned into an extremely grumpy person. That’s until my parents decided to send me parcels from home with the ingredients I like so I could prepare my favourite dishes. Being able to consume what I regard as good food definitely improved my life. Since then, I based a lot of decisions on any future destinations I might want to travel to on my food preferences. From a healthy perspective it’s wrong to leave my life this way, to celebrate my happy moments with a nice cake, have a bite or more of chocolate whenever I feel like breaking apart, eat freshly baked cookies until I fall flat on my back like a turtle, or go study in Turkey for example just because I am huge fan of baklava, but that really boosts my energy, helps me feel la joie de vivre and overcome any obstacles more easily.
    Another point I disagree with is the extent to which emotional eating is a negative thing. I think it’s not the action or the food itself that is harmful, rather the outward image you want to project and the general social requirements. For as long as I actually cared about my weight/image/other such standards I felt horrible. After I stopped giving a dime on these standards I found my own rhythm. I do eat more than I need, I have 2-3kg surplus compared to when I was sticking to my diet, but I feel great without any trace of guilt (even after the holidays when I usually gain additional weight). It might be due to the fact that I cook everything by myself using fresh ingredients (fresh is synonym to healthy in my vocabulary) , but as stated above I totally disregard the daily recommended amount of calories.
    My point is that emotional eating tendencies can easily be exacerbated by social trends and turn into an eating disorder. You can be an emotional eating without having to go through hell because you cannot grant an appropriate role for food in your life or you are trying to put across the wrong image or just pushing your limits too hard.
    Before stopping, I would like to mention that I do agree with your statement, that in order to reach a balance you have to follow your heart. That will help you get over any imposed stereotypes or any confusing situations you might go through.
    Sorry for the long post, I just felt like presenting my side of the story :shy:
    Wish you best of luck with the PE blog and the Celes Show! Keep up the good work! :dance:

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Ana, thanks for your comment. Have you read the full post: http://personalexcellence.co/blog/signs-of-emotional-eating/? I’ve presented clear reasons on why emotional eating is a negative issue.

      It’s not so much that one doesn’t feel happiness from eating food, but that the feelings of happiness one feels are firstly, temporary (because whatever issues that led to the non-happy emotions in the first place are still there, and one needs to keep eating to re-experience those emotions), and secondly non-real (it’s just the result of a self-enacted relationship with food, which, when fulfilled, gave rise to those emotions).

      For those who take emotional eating to the extreme, it results in obesity. For those who don’t, it doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue; it just means the issue is not severe enough to manifest itself in a serious, outward condition – but the problem of eating to feed emotions (that have not been properly processed and remains stuck in the person’s consciousness) still exists.

      Usually though, it would take an extreme situation like obesity, health-issues from overeating or anguish from not being able to stick to a diet (as part of a weight loss program, or as part of healthy living, for example) that would trigger one to reflect on one’s eating behavior and realize there is an emotional eating issue. Some people abandon desires to live healthily and go along the path of continued eating; some decide to put a stop to it and look at their eating patterns, thereby uncovering emotional eating issues.

      The solution to address emotional eating is to understand what keeps triggering one to turn to food as a way to experience positive emotions, which I covered in part-5 of the emotional eating series: How To Stop Emotional Eating, A Crucial Guide, Part 1: Tackling the Causes of Emotional Eating

      And for those who truly seek pleasure in using food as a source of comfort and want to continue doing that, that’s fine too. The intention of the series is just meant to educate and bring awareness to the phenomenon of emotional eating.

      And thank you for your well wishes and support! I appreciate it. :hug: There will be a new video posted at The Celes Show soon, so stay tuned.