Stop Emotional Eating

emotional eater

Is emotional eating always as “emotional” as it seems?

We suggest not…..

Those of you who have passed through the diet industry will identify strongly with the idea that you are an “emotional eater”.  Someone who reaches for food to combat stress, anxiety or sadness;  someone who turns to food for comfort, or for whom food is love. Sound familiar?  You’re in good company.  Take a look at these ten famous emotional eaters and their “stories” There’s a whole industry out there determined to prove that you have psychological “issues” around eating and that you are going to have to work hard to make a difference.

We say this is a “diet myth”.  And we ask you to pause for a minute and tell us why it is so advantageous to the food and diet industry to have you caught up in this thought?  We ask, is emotional eating always as “emotional” as it seems?

Let’s take someone who eats a highly refined carbohydrate diet and for whom blood sugar instability is an issue.  When blood sugar levels drop, our bodies respond by secreting stress hormones – like adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone) and one side effect of this is increased anxiety…..Low blood sugar levels can trigger mood changes.  Low blood sugar levels can cause cravings for those foods that will push sugar quickly back into the blood stream: doughnuts, white bread, biscuits, chocolate and overeating or binge eating is likely to ensue.

But WHAT caused the craving?  What caused the overeating?  What caused the low mood?  What caused the anxiety?  Was it emotions or was it the drop in blood sugar and the physiological response it triggered in your body?

We say it’s easy to write a story around your life that will keep you stuck in a sad place for far too long.  Many of us truly believe that we are emotional eaters : the vast majority of us are not.  Why do we say this?  Because experience has shown that when an “emotional eater” turns to a paleo diet, unstable blood sugar becomes a thing of the past, the mind is calmed and the “emotional eating” issue simply disappears.  So the best way to stop emotional eating is to try what we say and see for yourself.

Paleo Works ! For advice on optimal nutrition, paleo style diets and what this can do for you call us now on 0845 199 220 or e-mail

About Paleo Works

Paleo Works Have you ever wondered how you arrived at “being overweight” and thought how difficult it is to get rid of and keep off those excess pounds? Hi, I’m Katie and together with Mike my husband, we are Paleo Works. As a busy working mum of four, I often watched others embark on weight loss progammes only to return to their start weight (and then some) shortly after reaching their target. Why was this happening? Conventional dietary wisdom would have us believe that it’s YOU who has failed. But Mike and I thought different. We felt that there had to be something wrong with that conventional dietary wisdom after all we can’t all be hopeless? So we studied intensely, sought out advice and read avidly. We questioned robustly and talked with many on various 'dieting' regimes. What we found was radical, our story has to be told, our knowledge has to be shared. So If you are ready to stop blaming your self for being overweight and ready to change your approach to weight loss then contact us and let’s get started!

Posted on February 5, 2012, in Eating disorders and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I agree 100% with this. I used to consider myself an emotional eater, eating when stressed, tired or bored. I was also a chronic overeater and junk food addict ( I found that as soon as I switched to a paleo like lifestyle, my emotional eating stopped (I haven’t gone 100% paleo because I am vegetarian but I do stick mainly to whole foods). I used to crave sugar about 4 or 5 times a day but as soon as I stopped eating refined sugar, my sugar cravings went away. This is interesting because I had always heard that it takes time to break a sugar addiction. There was no lag time for me. On the very day I stopped eating sugar my sugar cravings disappeared. On the same day, my “emotional” eating stopped and has not returned once. I feel so calm now! It’s amazing!

  2. Interesting post. I know it’s important to eat purer, more nutritious foods. Many people treat their bodies like a garbage pit, dumping toxic foods into it often.

    As a therapist, I’ve also been intrigued by having clients make timelines and noting what was happening in their lives when they first started to gain weight. Usually a great deal of pain in their hearts (figuratively, not literally) has happened at the same time. For example, someone died, their parents started fighting a lot, or divorced, or they had to move and leave all their closest friends.

    One woman lost 80 pounds and continues to keep it off. I ran into her in a store, and nobody was around so I asked how she lost the weight. I knew that she had lost some in therapy, but she said most of it was due to our counseling sessions. As she worked on her real issues, she became much less prone to using food as a calming agent.

    Since there are over 400 styles of counseling now available, obviously it doesn’t always work this way. But often people who need to lose weight do so as they work on their stories.

    That said, I totally agree that our society pours junk in it to the point that we are making ourselves sick. Superb nutrition and eating sweets only in moderation is a great plan because if we deprive ourselves, we will end up bingeing.

    • Thank you for taking the time to write. We can live our life through stories but in the end they only limit us and our potential. It is human nature to try and make sense of things, after all but in the end, there is no sense, only life and how we chose to live it! The purpose of the article was to invite one and all to look behind the story and allow for the possibility that there is no story..and that the uncomfortable sensations that prompt us to search internally for a coping mechanism (food for many) are nothing to do with the mind but a bio chemical reaction to the heavily processed foods we eat daily in our diet. Tackle that and our addiction to sugar and you will find that the stories that can dominate our lives will lessen as our bodies finally come back into balance.

  3. Great article. I have been there. I think we all have. Sometimes emotions take us over and we indulge into a “quickfix.” I finally at a place in my life where I’m happy and give my body the best nutrition for fuel! It took some time- but I found a passion for cooking healthy and always staying active

  4. I have often felt that calling it emotional eating was an easy out for docs. I know of skinny (major skinny) folks and family that seriously emotional eat–but it doesn’t affect the bodies like the same style eating would affect me.

  5. Emotional moments: times when I cannot control eating too much. I’ve been really obsessed with my weight. I workout and eat healthy. I think I should let go and let my body be happy. The unwanted lbs will naturally peel off. 🙂

    • Quite right, but in order for weight loss to work without exercise you need to be eating only real foods in the right proportions, i.e. predominantly fat, moderate protein and some natural carbohydrate (zero refined carbohydrate).

  6. I feel like you wrote this blog entry specifically for me! Haha

  7. The book “Woman, food and God” is a perfect read for just this. Only when people begin to see food as fuel and nutrition and not as an emotional crutch will weight loss occur naturally …and stay off. Great blog by the way:)

    • You are right, Geneen Roth has cornered the market in “emotional eating” and we could spend a lot of time caught up in suffering and perfecting our story OR we can understand the physiological processes that make us fat! Study our biochemistry, learn a little, understand a little and then make choices that keep us healthy and well. We can get caught up in the branches and weeds by the side of the river or we can let go and truly swim.

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