What is Emotional Eating?
Enjoying a favorite food, eating a fantastic meal or delicious snack can be one most pleasurable experiences. However, when we emotionally eat, food becomes a friend, an entertainer, a therapist, or a prize. Emotional eating creates a transactional relationship with food for self-soothing and problem-solving.
Emotional Eating Vs. Eating Disorder
Emotional eating is not the same as having an eating disorder. An eating disorder usually involves risky behaviors such as restriction, binging, or using laxatives. You may know people who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. If you suspect that you, or someone you know, is suffering from an eating disorder, please seek help immediately.
While emotional eating is not as dangerous as a diagnosed eating disorder, it is still dangerous for your physical health. When emotionally eating, you may sometimes feel like you are out of control with food and that you have no willpower when it comes to your favorite snacks.
Impact of Eating to Soothe Emotions
Because food is so pleasurable, when you are in pain, eating can become an easy and quick fix. Emotional eating is a cycle that can be hard to escape. When you eat something with a lot of sugar, your brain is flooded with dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical in our body that is released, increasing feelings of happiness. This becomes a problem, because, happiness becomes dependent on the food you are eating.
In addition, eating foods high in sugar can lead to weight gain, illness, fatigue, and more. Equally as important, when you turn to food to soothe pain, it is difficult to uncover the source of suffering. For example: If you eat a pint of ice cream after a hard day at work, you may feel better temporarily, but the job troubles are still there. Does this seem familiar to you?
Signs that counseling can be helpful for emotional eating
Here are some signs that you may be emotionally eating:
Reaching for a snack after an argument or fight or upsetting experience
Feeling like the only thing that will make you feel better emotionally is (insert your favorite treat here)
Getting upset when you can’t access your favorite foods
Referring to your favorite foods as “comfort foods”
Arranging your schedule around food
Begin Counseling for Stress Eating in Ohio
If you said yes, there is help and there is hope. We can help you overcome the struggle of stress eating. Here’s how:
- Contact us through our website to request an initial appointment.
- Then you will hear from our virtual assistant, who will schedule you with one of our caring therapists.
- Next, meet with your therapist and begin the journey towards a healthier and stronger you.
Other Counseling Services
Our Beachwood Counseling Office provides treatment for depression, self-esteem, grief, anxiety, Christian Counseling, and more is possible. Online Counseling is available for anyone in the State of Ohio. If you are looking for a fresh start in life, you are in the right place.