Do you feel like thoughts and behavior with food run your life and that you are at its mercy? Do you secretly dread social functions offering an abundance of food because you fear you can’t control yourself? Do you wish that you could have a healthier relationship with food and stop worrying about overeating? Stop feeling the guilt and the shame when you break a self-imposed food rule.

The first step to having a healthy relationship with food is to figure out if you are an emotional eater. In other words, does emotion drive your behavior with food, eating when you’re not hungry?

Not stopping when you’re comfortably full, for many, is a way to push your emotions to the side or cope with uncomfortable feelings. Such behavior is an effort to self-soothe can become a habit that creates tremendous feelings of guilt and shame and wreaks havoc on your digestion, causes imbalances and possible infections inside your gut.

The first step in understanding if you are an emotional eater is to develop awareness. Explore who you are, how you eat, why you eat, even when you eat. Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Do you eat past the point of being very full? Do you spend an abundance of time planning what you’re going to eat next? Do you feel guilty after you eat? Do you eat very quickly?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be using food to deal with emotions that you fear to be uncomfortable or even intolerable. There is no shame in feeling and sensing. Often, the way we’ve defined emotional eating brings a negative connotation of intense feelings like anger, sadness, stress, and frustration.

Eating when you are hungry is an obvious sign of emotional eating, and eating past the point of being comfortably full can be as well. It happens when you are more connected to the mind’s messaging and belief system than the messages from your body.

Planning your next meal after eating or feeling guilty after eating and deciding it’s best to restrict can indicate that perhaps it’s easier for you to think about food than other issues that are calling for your attention.

Eating quickly creates an experience that becomes mindless and serves to numb any uncomfortable feeling your choosing to avoid. Eating an excessive amount of food in a short amount of time can constitute binge eating, and I’ll share more on the differences in future videos as well.

Next Steps
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