Is Facebook Causing You to Overeat?


facebook and weight gain quoteThe Connection Between Overeating & Being Online

There are lots of reasons why women fall into the pit of overeating at night. We know that if you haven’t fed yourself well enough during the day, you will be vulnerable to eating or binges at night. Makes sense.

And of course there are other factors at play as well, such as the very specific connection to overeating that comes from time online.

Time sitting at your computer. Maybe on Facebook, maybe doing a little online shopping, or Google-ing one thing or another.

You’ve been in a trance.

Hypnotically you stare at the screen. At some point you may notice a fair amount of time has gone by and you may wonder how it got so late.

Maybe you feel a little guilty. Or generally numbed out. You’re tuned out and not quite connected and even though you’ve been on the computer for a while something isn’t quite satisfied.

It’s the perfect storm.

Tired & Wired

We don’t typically feel when its time to get off the computer until we’re somewhat drained by it. Over-stimulated and under-satisfied. Tired and wired.

From this place it’s so easy to head into the kitchen to start rummaging around for “something”… this is the danger zone because in these moments it’s hard to be truly present. Not grounded, not really knowing how you feel or what you need.

And if it’s nighttime, there’s a good chance you’ve ignored your body’s signals letting you know when you had enough of the computer and would have been cozier with a book in your bed or just going to sleep.

Spending too much time on the computer, especially at night when minutes turn into hours, can make it harder to listen to the part of us that holds our guidance and any time you’re shut off from your body’s guidance you are more vulnerable to turning to food.

Think back to the last time you ate more than you wanted to at night. It’s possible there was some dulled-down online time preceding it? For some women, being on the computer after dinner turns into nightly rituals of unconscious eating.

Numbing out with Food & Facebook

If you’re struggling with any kind of emotional eating or binge-eating at night this is a place you may want to look for clues.

Any time you’re already numbed out, it’s all too easy to add food to the mix. If we’re not present in our bodies, somewhat awake and alert, it can be hard to make the choices we might at other times.

Hanging out on the computer for hours on end can be a detour – a way of avoiding other things that need to be done. Or of finding ways to connect with other people in real-time. Or of being fully with your self in ways that allow you to bloom and grow.

What about for you? Does time on the computer after dinner or in the evening lead to unwanted eating for you? As always, no judgment, lots of compassion, and the awareness to tweak things in ways that fully support you feeling the best you can.

I want that for you.

Let us know in the comments about your experiences with this.

8 responses to “Is Facebook Causing You to Overeat?”

  1. Harriet Krivit says:

    Don’t do facebook or twitter….and physical “stuff” makes my time at the computer standing up and limited. I’m always saying we’re all individuals…what I have in common with other’s here is that I have a grazing/binge eating disorder that I continue to try and seek help with and help to myself with in managing it.

  2. Cindy says:

    TV is a much bigger danger for me than the computer. I do have a friend that I am going to have to un-friend soon on Facebook. She shares several recipes every day and often they are marked as healthy but once you read them you find out they are junk food. I am tired of being fooled into reading them.

    • Lisa C. Briggs says:

      Hi Cindy- What we see/read online can definitely be triggering. I have had to edit my Pinterest feed (pun not intended) so that the content is aligned with things that interest me and support my point of view. We see so many images between TV and computer… it’s a lot!

  3. afterglow says:

    I actually have the opposite problem. I use it to keep me up. I know that it keeps my body going when all I really want to do is sleep but the insomnia keeps me up.

    • Lisa C. Briggs says:

      Can definitely be overstimulating.. I advise GM clients to wind down at night minus the computer/tv for a good hour or so before bed depending on any difficulties around sleep.

  4. Lisa Christie says:

    I completely agree with the over-stimulated and under-satisfied description about how Facebook makes me feel. Often, after scrolling through updates for hours, I can feel that I’m not measuring up, that my life isn’t as exciting as others. It can leave me feeling somewhat empty. I really like Facebook for getting information from pages that I’ve liked and as a means for catching up with friends, but I am really trying to limit my time overall on it. Unfortunately, it’s like a reflex when I get on the computer to go to Facebook, so I find myself there when I don’t intend to be.

    • Lisa C. Briggs says:

      Hi Lisa- I’ve really cut back… seriously cut back and limited to times of day that don’t pull me into addictive scrolling. It’s helped a lot… I got very frustrated by the time spent, hours that went by, and not much to show for it but the tired and wired. Facebook is great, like anything, in the right amounts. Cheering you on.

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Lisa Claudia

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