Eating Your Emotions? Signs You May Need The Help Of A Therapist

If you tend to eat your emotions rather than express them, you may not even recognize the subtle symptoms in the beginning. This often occurs because reaching for food becomes a way of life when you feel tired, angry, stressed, or lonely. Looking for signs of emotional eating can help you know if you need therapy to banish emotional eating.

You turn to food first

Keeping a log of your reactions when you experience uncomfortable feelings, such as anger, loneliness, stress, or fatigue can help you see how often you turn to food for comfort. It will also help you determine which emotions are more likely to cause you to head to the kitchen or the nearest fast-food drive-through. If you are running to food more than you try to seek help from other means, you probably need to call a therapist.

You feel guilty after eating

Eating because you are hungry or craving a particular food should not leave you feeling guilty. If you find yourself feeling guilty after you finish eating, it may be because you are eating for reasons other than hunger or desiring a certain food you enjoy having on occasion. Guilt following eating is an important sign that you may need therapy to help you resolve unhealthy eating patterns.

You plan binges

Planned food binges are a key sign of food addiction behavior. For instance, maybe you are at work and your day is going terrible and you feel stressed. If you find yourself thinking about stopping on your way home from work for junk food rather than planning to take a relaxing walk or call a friend to vent your feelings, it can mean you are not dealing with your emotions in a healthy way.

You hide food

Hiding food from others is a big red flag that you may have a problem with emotional eating. If you are feeling ashamed about the amount of food you are consuming or if you always eat in secret, you should talk to a therapist to learn healthy ways to cope with your emotions.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying good food or eating for comfort if it is done for the right reasons. However, if you are eating only to curb emotions, it can create problems. Being aware of how your emotions are tied to your eating patterns can help you know if you need to seek the help of a therapist to regain control of your emotions rather than eating them. 

Contact a therapist like Donald McEachran, PHD to learn more.