Are you an emotional eater?
First thing’s first: you have to try and understand if you’re actually emotionally eating. There are some telltale signs, so ask yourself these questions.
Do you find yourself reaching for food when you’re feeling emotional but not hungry?
If you’ve had a bad day, just exited a stressful job interview, or are feeling generally irritated, and have a sudden craving or overwhelming hunger, then you’re trying to seek comfort to balance out the emotional discomfort.
When a problem occurs, do you avoid it by eating?
Maybe you have a deadline. You say, “I’ll just grab a snack first.” Maybe you’re in an argument. Rather than sitting down and hashing things out, you bolt to the refrigerator. In such cases, you’re simply putting off the inevitable, and choosing to numb yourself with food.
Are you struck with intense guilt after having a treat, but then binge?
This is a big one. If you feel like that bite of cake was a bad idea, you may become incredibly stressed by how it’s ruining your physical appearance. To cope, you seek comfort in knowing that there is more cake, and that if you eat more of it, you can hit the reset button and not ever eat it again.
Binging is a very serious thing; a downward spiral that leads to more emotional instability, when the point was to find a sense of comfort. But remember, that comfort is momentary, and backfires.