Are you an Emotional Eater? Most probably ‘yes’. Take the Quiz to discover!
There are many ways to tell if you’re an emotional eater. Many times, we know deep down inside that we are.
However sometimes, particularly if you’re not aware of your own internal emotional cues, you could be eating out of emotions and not even realize it.
Here are 8 signs of an emotional eater according to Dr Roger Gould of the Shrink Yourself emotional eating program (Note: not everyone will have all eight of these symptoms but most people will have several):
#1 Your hunger comes on suddenly.
Real physical hunger comes on slowly whereas emotional hunger comes on quickly and suddenly. All of a sudden – with little or no warning – you want to eat.
#2 You crave specific ‘comfort’ foods.
Emotional overeaters will usually crave ‘comfort’ foods like chips, cookies, cakes, chocolate, cheeseburgers, pizza etc. In general they will never crave healthier fare like fruits, veggies, salads, etc.
#3 You need to eat now – you can’t wait.
When you’re eating out of your emotions, you usually feel like you need to eat now. Your hunger won’t wait, whether that means driving to the corner store late at night or dipping into your kids’ candy stash.
#4 Your hunger is often paired with an upsetting emotion.
Maybe you got angry at your spouse and now you need that tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Perhaps your boss yelled at you and now you’re halfway through a box of donuts on the way home from work. Physical hunger is not triggered by emotions.
#5 You find yourself eating unconsciously or on autopilot.
When you’re eating out of physical hunger, you’re usually mindful of what you’re eating. When you’re eating out of emotions you can look down and find the whole container of ice cream is gone and you don’t even remember eating it.
#6 You don’t stop eating in response to being full.
Physical hunger doesn’t need to be stuffed in order to be satisfied. Emotional hunger usually demands more and more food to feel satisfied.
#7 Your hunger isn’t in your belly. You may crave the taste of a certain food in your mouth or can’t stop thinking or a specific food.
Physical hunger is happy to get what it can while emotional hunger usually needs specific tastes and textures.
#8 After you eat, you often feel guilty or bad about yourself.
When you feed physical hunger, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. But if you feel guilty after eating, it may be that part of you knows you’re not eating just to satisfy physical hunger.
So those are 8 signs of an emotional eater. Remember that not everyone will display all 8 signs. However, if you’ve struggled for years trying to lose weight with diets, pills or other methods, you may be an emotional overeater.
And until you address the root of your problem, you’ll never be free to be at your ideal weight.
There are several ways to address the problem if you’re an emotional overeater. We recommend an online program created specifically for emotional eaters by psychiatrist Dr Roger Gould.