Emotional Eating: Just One More Snack

For the past 3 weeks I have been really struggling with emotional/stress eating. I feel like I have completely lost control.

When this all began it was the worst it has ever been. At work I was eating constantly, snack after snack after snack. I felt like I couldn’t stop, there was this pull to eat more even though I wasn’t hungry. I spent so much money in the vending machine at work the first week this started to happen. Packs of M&Ms, Reese’s cups and Rice Krispy Treats galore!

I have been slowly gaining control back but I still feel like the binge eating monster is floating just above my head ready to pounce at any moment commanding me to stuff my face again.

It’s been really hard to control myself again after spiraling out of control. I am trying to get back into a relatively healthy routine but I’m really struggling. I keep falling back into the emotional eating habits!

It’s not just had an effect on my mind but my body as well. My body isn’t used to eating this high number of calories so I have been bloated and gained a few pounds. I’m terrified to get on the scale because I don’t want to know the damage I’ve done.

How do you combat emotional/stress binge eating? If you have any tips please comment them below! I could really use some advice.

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39 Replies to “Emotional Eating: Just One More Snack”

  1. One think I learned is to put your mind right then in something different and the urges will be less violent and you can beat it. I will pray for you mow. I pray for all my followers often now is just for you. May God bless you and help you. Think about Jesus and ask for help when overwhelmed.

  2. One more thing, sorry. I am bipolar 2 rapid cycle OCD ADD and more but by the Grace of God I am doing pretty good and married 22 years almost

  3. Hi, yrs ago i was binge eating through an emotional state of depression!!! everything to snacks and junk food constantly which spiralled out of control which lead me to anorexia And it’s not easy so i do side with you completely that it’s hard when you are in that state to block out emotions that turn’s to comfort eating obviously that can be difficult to get out of because i’ve been where you have in that situation. Thanks for sharing ❤️

    1. Thank you for sharing a snippet of your story! I hope that you are doing well on your journey and have a better relationship with food.

  4. Wow it takes a lot of courage to be open and speak about this because I feel a lot of people go through this ‘emotional eating’ but hid it and are insecure about it! I can relate yes…I guess during my exams I did it a lot just eat and eat but it was only when everyone was outside of the house? Not sure why? I guess it’s the whole thing about being insecure and knowing it’s not right because half the time I wasn’t even hungry! So for me…I just learnt that the mind and body have this connection with food, if you eat healthy your mind feels good and your body too! Once I started eating healthier I could see that I was still eating loads of food but I felt lighter in my mind…I wasn’t guilty or hiding eating food…it’s all about balance too!! Have to treat yourself and award yourself:) hope it helps

    1. Thank you, Poet! I totally agree with your comment, I always try to hide it too. I binge in my office at work or once everyone has gone to bed for the night.
      It reminds me of a girl I lived with in uni, she would eat super healthy in front of others then binge alone at night. Broke my heart to see her struggling 🙁

      Anyway you make a great point that if you put good in, you feel good. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  5. Binge eating usually comes from stress. Attacking that can come first. Which is not to say that won’t be brutally hard. Thing that have helped me are meditation and philosophical reading, especially Buddhism and Stoicism. As to the eating itself, when I was in recovery and I binged and desperately wanted to purge, the counsellors would sit with me and tell me the urge would pass. It took about an hour, but it did. It works when I get the urge to binge as well. It will pass. The aforementioned stoicism help with the lessons on things we control. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself about it. You are in pain and this is an effort to try and comfort yourself.

    1. This is excellent advice, thank you Em! I greatly appreciate your wise words. I do need to find a better way to handle my stress which I’m not sure will be going away in the near future. But I will keep your words in the front of my mind!

      1. I’m glad I could be a little helpful 🙂 Have a fantastic day.

  6. This is a significant issue for me, too. I believe the majority of my overeating issues are due to self-medicating with food. Of course I have times when my moods and anxiety are well-balanced. Then, I can easily diet and eat healthful foods. Even on 500 mg of Seroquel XR! Yes, for me, that dose doesn’t sabotage my weight loss efforts nearly as much as emotional eating…or sometimes eating for energy-sake (again, self-medicating).

    I can’t say what you should do, but I do think getting on the scale is important. When I neglect to see what’s happening, it’s easier for me to let things go. Just today I got on the scale after four days of mini binges. I was lucky with what I saw, but sometimes I’m not. I must remember the latter, so I don’t continue on this path. A first step can sometimes just be limiting the binges, but not expecting perfect eating. I try to get rid of the foods I binge on most. Sometimes that means finishing them up. Sometimes that means throwing them in the trash can and squirting catsup on top.

    Emotional eating is a clear-cup warning sign. What to do? Try to start treating what is causing the mood issue. Coping skills, extra help from my therapist, a “prn” medication, being around others more, calling my psychiatrist, limiting stressors, etc.

    1. I’m right there with you in the medication boat (I’m on 300 mg of Wellbutrin)! I haven’t had any weight gain from it over the couple years I’ve taken it.

      You make a really good point about getting on the scale. Sometimes you gotta see the truth even if it hurts. Thank you so much for your words!

      1. I take wellbutrin for emotional eating disorder. And there are the ten principles of intuitive eating. Number 5 addresses emotional eating disorders and binging.

      2. I also take Wellbutrin but it doesn’t help me with that.

      3. It doesn’t work for everyone, but practicing a bit of self control helps.

  7. I literally feel your pain here. I need to get back on track myself. Meal prepping makes it seem like I’m more in charge and gives me set amounts to eat but it doesn’t always work especially when you are crunched on time.

    1. Same! Sure I can meal plan but it sure as hell doesn’t prevent me from getting snacks from the vending machine or at the gas station a few blocks from my work. Thanks for commenting!

  8. I have gained ten pounds exactly in two weeks. I am a binge eater as well. Most people perceive this to be a control issue but I believe it is our relationship with food. We reward ourselves for starving ourselves. My best suggestion would be to have six small meals a day. This increases your metabolism and also keeps you snacking throughout the day. With portion control, of course.

    1. I totally agree with you, it is about our relationship with food. Mine has always been quite a complicated one. I like your idea! Maybe that would be helpful instead of eating 3 meals plus endless snacks. Thanks for the comment, Eve!!

      1. Eat things that are high in protein. Peanuts, low sodium, protein bar, bananas, just make sure minimal white in your diet. That’s a key to stabilizing weight. Do not withhold food but stop when you are full. This helps change the way food feels if that makes sense. Eat cold pasta with chicken and Italian dressing, handful of peanuts, small salad, tuna steak with spinach and lemon butter, avocado with corn tortillas, eggs (boiled), fruit (dried or fresh).

  9. I am in the same boat as you, though it has become a habit of mine to eat chocolate after dinner/before bed and I find it hard to stop. If you get any tips to stopping, they would be great to hear!

    1. Chelsea I do the same damn thing. My habit is to also eat immediately when I come home even if I’m not hungry.
      Maybe replacing your chocolate with something else might help. Something healthier that you like just as much as chocolate! Thank you for commenting!

      1. At least we know we’re not the only ones!
        I was thinking of replacing it with cashews or something and just try and save chocolate for the weekends – but we’ll see how that goes haha

  10. I understand. This too shall pass. I ate a tub of Haagen Dazs two nights in a row. It was so beautifully satisfying and so frigging disappointing. The ice cream was not disappointing- I was. My coping mess of poor eating is a burden. I hate myself for it. I have promised myself that I will start new the next day. Yet, if it is not all or nothing – I lose. Hence, why my cycle of overeating and not eating is the mind torturous hamster wheel that I cannot jump off. I hate this, but I accept this. It is me. One day at a time – I will make a different choice and I will change. This I do know.

    1. I have all too often felt the same way about feeling so disappointed myself after eating a bunch of junk food. Every damn time. I hope that you can find some balance in your eating. Also remember you’re not the only one going through this! Thanks for commenting!

  11. I seem to be like a pendulum. I swing from pigging out on junk and then going completely the other way by eating just enough to enable me to function. That was when I was on my own. Now that I have a wife, I have a regular eating pattern but only because I know if I don’t eat with her, she will ask what is wrong… and most days I don’t have the energy to continually talk about my inner mind-mess.

    1. Sometimes having a routine like that can be helpful. I hope that you can find the energy to speak to your wife (or someone else you trust) about what’s going on in your mind. Thanks for commenting, Bamba!

  12. I have been there so many times!! I feel your pain. I still struggle with this but in the times when I can manage myself, these are the things that help: mindful eating (I tell myself I can eat what I want as long as I am actually enjoying it. When I stop enjoying it I throw the remaining food away – in such a way that I can’t get it back – I tell myself that the food belongs in the bin and I am not a bin).
    I meditate – I see someone else has commented about this. I find it a good way to surf the craving wave and wait for it to pass. It also helps me feel physically calmer, which reduces the need to eat.
    I took up juggling so I had something to do when I needed to get up from my desk and walk away from the work (I work from home but can see how this one might be odd in the office! 😂)

    Another odd one I’ve read about but haven’t tried is to say to yourself “I’m about to eat this chocolate. I don’t actually want it. Maybe I should leave it”. Apparently, saying it out loud connects to your conscious mind and gives you a better chance of overriding the habitual element of eating.
    The final tip I have (also not one I’ve tried yet) is to make eating inconvenient. So you can have anything you want but you have to eat it with a knife and fork or go to a particular place to eat it. Again, these things force you to think more consciously.

    Good luck! You are not alone. So many of us struggle with food and it’s very difficult because it is EVERYWHERE so we’re constantly fighting those urges!!

    1. I can already see my supervisor’s face if she saw me trying to juggle in my office hahaha! I love the suggestion to say it out loud. I think that could be really helpful, thank you!

      1. Haha! I know! I wonder what would have happened if I had tried it when I worked in an office! I’m glad you found the out loud tip useful. I hope it helps.

  13. Emotional eating is about smothering a feeling with food; drown it in candy and then feel the sugar rush.

    And the sugar rush feels great, until we crash.

    Now this solution isn’t as easy as stuffing your face with the sweet stuff, but it’s the grown up love solution.
    Lean in to the emotion. Hear it. Why do you feel like eating when you’re not hungry? And then meet that need. Give yourself what you truly need.

    Are you eating because you’re lonely? Tired? Stressed?

    There are many ways to change your mood that don’t involve cake. I talk about this quite a lot on my blog. I’m sure there are some sweet solutions in there that won’t make you feel bad about yourself in the long run.

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