Is there a link between stuffing my feelings and overeating?

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There can be - overeating has NUMEROUS causes, and response to emotion is one of them.  Some people will report that overeating will allow them to become distracted from uncomfortable or negative feelings, or simply numb them.  Unfortunately, emotions tend to be a dynamic system and they will arise again, and food is not designed to help us address emotions.  One way to get to the bottom of this is to keep a food diary, or at least a diary where you note when you make "suboptimal" food choices or eat more than you intended, and reflect on the emotions or events that preceded those times. Patterns may emerge that show that negative mood states like sadness, anxiety, or feelings such as boredom may precede overeating episodes.  It's certainly an intuitive metaphor: Stuff the feeling like you stuff your belly.  But only by monitoring your patterns can you come to understand if this is your dynamic.  
You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

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You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

An intelligent, timely, and prescriptive book that shows how your attitude towards food often reflects your attitude towards other areas in your life--jobs, relationships, money--and how you can...
Karen R Koenig
Psychology

Need you ask? Of course there’s a link and an important one. I said in the beginning of chapter 7 of the book Nice Girls Finish Fat that there are two reasons to open your mouth - to eat and to speak. Well, you’re having a bit of a problem keeping them straight. We might say that you overeat because you underspeak or that you eat over your feelings. When you share feelings appropriately, effectively, and in a timely manner, believing that you have the right to do so and that what you say has a profound effect in shaping your life, voicing your opinions becomes a positive aspect of self. When you worry constantly about offending, saying the wrong thing, or not being understood or heard, speaking up becomes a burden and causes tremendous anxiety.

By swallowing your feelings, you end up mired in them. They grow larger and create more and more distress. Stress brings you nearer to the breaking point and keeps inching you closer and closer to finding something to help you chill out. That that something is food is no news to you. Not only do you look to food for comfort, but because it gives your mouth something to do rather than speak, eating feels right. Think about it. If you weren’t stuffing yourself silly, you might be saying something that could hurt someone or letting her know that she’s hurt you. Better to keep that mouth occupied, so it doesn’t run off and get you in trouble.

Continue Learning about Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

It's easy to go for that bag of chips when we're stressed and not think much of it. But emotional eating is serious detriment to weight loss as well as your overall health and well-being. People tend to binge eat the most when the...

y're lonely or stressed. This can set the stage for eating disorders and food addiction because we start treating food like medicine. Luckily, there's help for emotional eaters, in the form of community support, stress management techniques and in some cases, therapy.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.