It’s not so much science but a hidden emotional issue that’s behind emotional eating.
Something inside you, that you can’t see, is pulling the strings and making you do things you don’t want to do everyday.
Most of us ignore that powerful part of us and instead use our logical brain to figure out what diet or system we can use to our benefit, to help us handle the emotional eating.
Then everyone tells us we have to get to the root and work on our problem from there, but they don’t tell you what the root is or how to ‘work on it’.
The root of emotional eating is anxiety that is not managed properly. We are usually not aware of it but it’s there nonetheless and it’s in charge of our behavior.
It makes us uncomfortable and so we look for ways to soothe it. One of our favorite ways to do this is with food. Food will make us feel a little more settled for a short period of time (at a high cost), and then it’s right back to our baseline anxiety level.
In other words food gives us a short break from the stress so we can catch our breath so-to-speak.
Our emotional eating shadow is our anxiety then. And the anxiety is unmanaged for 2 reasons:
1- We’re not aware of it.
2- We avoid situations and thoughts that trigger it.
#2 (avoiding) helps to make us more unaware, AND is also increases the anxiety itself, and then we wonder why we feel so “stressed.”
So what are we avoiding?
Usually we avoid telling (and showing) other people how we truly feel. Try telling your neighbors your political views when you know they will see you differently from then on. Try telling your parents you don’t believe in God when you know they will all but disown you. Try telling your wife what you really think of those new jeans on her.
You get the picture. If we were honest with everyone, we’d be hated by half the population and have to deal with the threat that is the constant conflict that comes with honesty. We’d also be a different person, completely and we are not ready for that perhaps. Assertive, bold and plain speaking, yet still polite (even though people won’t call you that).
When we are honest with others then the result is to have real and SAFE connections with other people, and that safety is what we primarily need to soothe our anxiety, not food or other coping substances or behaviors. We’ve shown ourselves and expressed our needs and wants and it’s okay.
You could also be avoiding some pain in the past. Perhaps trauma, but it could also be missed opportunities, confronting someone who betrayed you, or the fact that you never really did what you wanted your whole life and that you’ve wasted decades. In other words you’re avoiding pain via immense grief.
The list is endless but that’s why it’s important to work on yourself through journaling and talking honestly with those closest to you. To figure this stuff out.
All of that take time.
And if you’re an emotional eater, you likely have excess weight that you want to get rid of now, not in 5 years when your core issue starts to resolve.
Good thing we have a plan for that.
See the main page of this site, the guide …
… for more tips on how to properly manage emotional eating.
THE EATING LOVE GUIDE (FREE)
The Eating Love Guide has helped many people regain control of their eating patterns, resulting not only in weight loss but also better health and improved self-esteem. To read it online, click here.