Emotional Eating

Emotional eating (sometimes called stress eating) involves using food to make yourself feel better. It is characterized by the act of eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Food (either consciously or unconsciously) can be a source of comfort in stressful situations. Emotional eating is typically used as a way to numb negative emotions like fear, anger, boredom, loneliness or sadness.  Both major life events and the normal hassles of daily life can cause the types of negative emotions likely to trigger emotional eating. A therapist can help you understand the reasons behind your emotional eating and teach you tools to both recognize and cope with it. If you have been experiencing episodes of emotional eating, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s specialists today. 

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists

 

Eating is complicated, we all started out as intuitive eaters but the messages of the world contracted this engrained truth within us. Emotional eating is a normal coping skill that should never be judged or demonized. We will work to explore this coping skill and how it shows up as workable or unworkable in your life, while also building a larger skill set for times of distress.

— Jasmine Stoker, Associate Professional Counselor in Tyler, TX

Emotional eating is a behavior that people engage in to cope with life stress and challenging feelings. The good news is that every time you are tempted to emotionally eat, your body is signalling you that you need another kind of attention. The only problem is that, on your own, it is so hard to pause before eating and pay attention to the feelings that want to surface. I would be honored to meet you there, right at that moment to support your unfolding story.

— Anat Ben-Zvi, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist in New York, NY
 

As a CBT therapist, I explain to the client that their binge eating is based on emotional reasoning, and, although eating might make them feel temporarily comforted, would not help them feel better about themselves. In fact, overeating usually has the opposite effect and actually makes them feel worse about themselves. Together, you and I will plan a different approach to handling disappointment. With practice, you will be able to interpret people’s responses more realistically, so you are not constantly feeling inadequate. We will also work on improving your self-esteem. As your self-esteem improves, you became more able to refrain from snacking and binging and began to eat more nutritious food.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC

Often times if we struggle with managing our weight, we also struggle with feelings of depression, anxiety, or lower self-esteem. We often use food as a way to cope and deal with emotions that we struggle with, and we can also essentially become addicted to foods. One common method that I frequently use to help heal a relationship with food is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT). This technique has a great deal of evidence behind it as being effective in healing our relationship with food.

— Danielle Wayne, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boise, ID
 

Emotional eating is a passion of mine. I love helping my clients to understand their relationship to food and the reasons why those relationships can be so difficult to navigate. My approach is to help my clients come to appreciate the comfort that they have needed so much and adaptively learned to find through food, rather than making food the enemy. Once that need for comfort has surfaced, then we can together find alternative options for getting that same comfort.

— Ashley Eisenlohr, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Everett, WA

As a CBT therapist, I explain to the client that their binge eating is based on emotional reasoning, and, although eating might make them feel temporarily comforted, would not help them feel better about themselves. In fact, overeating usually has the opposite effect and actually makes them feel worse about themselves. Together, you and I will plan a different approach to handling disappointment. With practice, you will be able to interpret people’s responses more realistically, so you are not constantly feeling inadequate. We will also work on improving your self-esteem. As your self-esteem improves, you became more able to refrain from snacking and binging and began to eat more nutritious food.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC
 

As a CBT therapist, I explain to the client that their binge eating is based on emotional reasoning, and, although eating might make them feel temporarily comforted, would not help them feel better about themselves. In fact, overeating usually has the opposite effect and actually makes them feel worse about themselves. Together, you and I will plan a different approach to handling disappointment. With practice, you will be able to interpret people’s responses more realistically, so you are not constantly feeling inadequate. We will also work on improving your self-esteem. As your self-esteem improves, you became more able to refrain from snacking and binging and began to eat more nutritious food.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC

I have worked with many clients over my years in practice with issues related to emotional/disordered eating. Disordered eating is a metaphor for what is unspoken.Together we will look at the purpose the emotional eating serves for you and what is going on in your life that the eating may be expressing. By exploring the stressors in your life we can look at those underlying causes, give them a voice and help you work toward resolving them in a healthy manner.

— Joan Tibaldi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Saint Augustine, FL
 

I have extensive experience in treatment of emotional eating. I have been treating this in adults in groups and individually for 18 years as a therapist and 7 before that as a peer support. We look at adaptive functions that the eating served from the time you were young to today where it is starting to hurt along with helping you cope. We look at where you needs have not been met and chip away at getting those met by you. It sounds like a lot, but using a compassionate lens, It can work well.

— Sandee Nebel, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

Food is essential for life! It's also delicious, nourishing and can serve many purposes. For a lot of us, we find comfort in food, especially when we are anxious, bored, alone and the list can go on. Sometimes , we may just find that we are always hungry! My question is, what are you hungry for, food or something else? Together, we will take a deeper look into your emotional eating and I will assist you in connecting with your body to eat in what we call a more self attuned way.

— Rebecca Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,
 

At the core of an eating disorder is emotional eating. Whether you restrict food and/or binge eat, food becomes a way to manage your emotions. Food is tasty and satisfying and, yes, comforting. That's okay! The challenge comes when emotional eating becomes your way of coping by keeping your emotions at bay. This can lead to feeling out of control and so much worse about yourself. Learn how to feel your feelings and emotional eating will lift. Let us help teach you how! Reach out to us today.

— Food Is Not The Enemy Eating Disorder Services, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I have had the opportunity to experience recovery from eating problems and have been helping others, first as peer support and coach, then as a therapist. I have had the honor of walking along side clients' journeys from emotional and stress eating to disordered eating to recovery.

— Sandee Nebel, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,
 

Emotional eating is a learned coping mechanism for handling difficult emotions. Together, we can find new ways of dealing with uncomfortable emotions and help you stop emotional eating.

— Janet Wang, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in , TX

As a CBT therapist, I explain to the client that their binge eating is based on emotional reasoning, and, although eating might make them feel temporarily comforted, would not help them feel better about themselves. In fact, overeating usually has the opposite effect and actually makes them feel worse about themselves. Together, you and I will plan a different approach to handling disappointment. With practice, you will be able to interpret people’s responses more realistically, so you are not constantly feeling inadequate. We will also work on improving your self-esteem. As your self-esteem improves, you became more able to refrain from snacking and binging and began to eat more nutritious food.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC
 

Food is essentail for life! It's also delicious, nurishing and can serve many purposes. For a lot of us, we find comfort in food, especially when we are anxious, bored, alone and the list can go on. Sometimes , we may just find that we are always hungry! My question is, what are you hungry for, emotional attention or actual food? Together, we will take a deeper look into your emotional eating and I will assist you in connecting with your body to eat in what we call a more self attuned way.

— Rebecca Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,

I am a "certified Intuitive Eating Pro", and have trained in Health At Every Size and Mindful Eating approaches to healing.

— Jessica Foley, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Waltham, MA
 

Who hasn't used ice cream to deal with a break up? What better to come home to after a horrible day at work, than a steamy bowl of mac n cheese? Food should be enjoyed. We celebrate milestones with sweets and we feast at holidays. Throughout history, food and emotions have gone together. And yet there are times, especially in our culture, when managing emotions by eating gets out of hand. If you are thinking about food more often or if you want to find other ways of managing stress, let's talk.

— Kathryn Gates, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

You think you won't but again you look back & ask yourself, "How did I let yourself consume all those calories?" or "How could I have just let myself go? You compensate by berating yourself or compulsive behavior. Regardless of how you make up for what you believe you did or didn't do to meet your expectations, it all leads to the same destination, GUILT & SHAME! You aren't alone! Guilt & shame do not need to be your destiny. Find out why you do why you do & what you can do about it!

— It's Your Therapy LLC, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Coral Springs, FL
 

I have a health coaching certification from Institute for Integrative Nutrition with a speciality in Emotional Eating. Together, we can discover what are your triggers to over eating and learn new skills to change your relationship with food.

— Erika Delco, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

As a CBT therapist, I explain to the client that their binge eating is based on emotional reasoning, and, although eating might make them feel temporarily comforted, would not help them feel better about themselves. In fact, overeating usually has the opposite effect and actually makes them feel worse about themselves. Together, you and I will plan a different approach to handling disappointment. With practice, you will be able to interpret people’s responses more realistically, so you are not constantly feeling inadequate. We will also work on improving your self-esteem. As your self-esteem improves, you became more able to refrain from snacking and binging and began to eat more nutritious food.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC