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Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is one of the leading causes of weight gain.

Emotional eating occurs when your mind decides what and how much you will eat, not your body. You may turn to food for comfort, either consciously or unconsciously, when you’re stressed, bored, or feeling anxious. This often leads to eating too much, especially high calorie sweet or fatty foods.

If you are an emotional eater, you may find yourself rapidly eating anything that's convenient, without even enjoying it. In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a sweet treat whenever you're angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you're doing.

Common signs of Emotional Eating include:

  • Eating when you are not physically hungry.
  • Eating during times of strong emotions, like anger or depression.
  • Eating when bored.
  • Eating too quickly.
  • Eating immediately after arriving home from work.
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity or type of food being eaten.
  • Eating until uncomfortably full.
  • Feeling disgust or guilt after overeating.

At Acu-ease, we work with you so that you can see how you “do” emotional eating and how you can choose a different approach to food, so that you can think like a thin person.

Are you an emotional eater?

To find out if you might be an emotional eater, rate yourself on the following statements about your current lifestyle (adapted from the book Fattitudes: Beat Self-Defeat and Win Your War with Weight, by Jeffrey R., Ph.D. Wilbert, Norean K. Wilbert, St Martin’s Press, NY, 2000.) using the scale:

0 = Never
1 = Rarely
2 = Sometimes
3 = Often
4 = Almost Always

1. I’ve tried to lose weight, but always fail.
2. I don’t feel in control of my eating.
3. I often eat when I'm not hungry.
4. I eat food when I’m stressed or upset.
5. I eat food for pleasure or as a reward.
6. I think about food a lot.
7. I can't stay on track when dieting.
8. I binge eat.
9. I feel ashamed of myself and my eating habits.
10. Food helps me deal with feelings.

Add up your TOTAL SCORE


0 – 10
It is very unlikely that you are an emotional eater.

11 – 20
You engage in some emotional eating but it’s unlikely that it is harmful.

21 – 30
You are a moderate emotional eater and should consider professional assistance.

31 – 40
You are a heavy emotional eater. Professional assistance is highly recommended.