Top 10 Triggers for Emotional Eating


food addictionEmotional eating is something we all engage in from time to time. For example, it’s normal to celebrate with food, and sometimes nothing is more comforting than food. Still, it can get the best of us if we turn to food too often.

Annette Colby, PhD, nutritionist, therapist and author of several helpful books that look at issues such as emotional eating, lists the top 10 emotions we turn to food to help us with:

1. Feeling disempowered to change your life
2. Feeling overwhelmed or trapped and not knowing how to move forward
3. Unresolved stress and anxiety
4. Perfectionist attitudes or fear of making mistakes or failing
5. Loneliness or boredom
6. Having a sense of insecurity
7. Feeling undeserving of the abundance and pleasure life has to offer
8. Low self-esteem or poor self-image
9. Eating to hide an emptiness inside
10. A sense of feeling deprived caused by dieting or “being good” with food

Lists like these are useful because it can be hard to figure out what’s driving emotional eating sometimes. But that’s the first step in overcoming emotional eating — becoming aware of why we’re doing it. Only then can we come up with strategies that will truly help us.

Check out Annette’s site and her books for more useful information on emotional eating and other issues that get in the way of our being the best we can be. Check out our Green Mountain site, too, for articles we’ve written on that offer specific strategies for a myriad of reasons we emotionally eat.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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