Mindful Eating for Emotional Eating


Emotional eating is a hot topic at Green Mountain.  We speak about it frequently.  It can be triggered unexpectedly for no obvious reason or it can be in reaction to wanting to manage a difficult situation.

In the class “Understanding Emotions That Can Lead You To Eat” we discuss the thorny problem of identifying emotions.  And in fact, mindless eating can cut your head off from your body, so you don’t know how to think about what you are feeling.

One strategy that can help you connect to your feelings and your food is mindful eating. Michelle May, MD and  author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, writes:

Mindful eating is not just about the appearance, taste, and aromas of food. To me, it encompasses the entire Mindful Eating Cycle: Why? When? What? How? How Much? and Where?

With awareness of each of these decisions in my eating cycle, I can respond instead of react. I have response-ability, rather than re-acting and continually playing out old patterns.

This process of responding rather than reacting gives us the space to explore  emotions or habits. By getting to know our feelings we can use emotional eating as an opportunity to learn more; more about our habits, our feelings and our patterns of mindless eating.

What  might your emotional eating be trying to get our attention about?

3 responses to “Mindful Eating for Emotional Eating”

  1. Often times I overeat when I am tired. Emotionally speaking I sometimes eat when I don’t feel listened to, understood, heard, nor valued. I look forward to the day when I can sit with my feelings and not eat. A good question to pose to yourself is, “What would I be feeling right now if I chose not to eat?”

  2. Chase says:

    I know a lot of people, myself included, that eat to help themselves feel better during stressful or bad situations. Sometimes I’m aware of it. Other times, I am not. In addition, to being mindful of what we eat, everyone needs to find their own way to find comfort elsewhere. For me its going to the gym and hitting the treadmill.

  3. Beth says:

    Slowing down to even identify the emotions is the hardest part of my journey. I certainly don’t STOP and sometimes find myself on the other side of a binge. So very hard.

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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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