Roger Gould, M.D.  

Specialties: Mental Health, Wellness, emotional eating

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Emotional Hunger: Twelve Types That Make You Break Your Diet

May 17, 2009 - 4 comments

emotional hunger




food addiction


Eating disorders


binge eating disorder

You may not know this but emotional overeating is the reason that 95% of diets fail. You might already know you’re an emotional eater. Or you might not be sure and you may need a little bit more information to decide. The first step is to find out if you are emotionally hungry. Below are the twelve types of emotional hunger that trigger Emotional Eating. As you read through the list, ask yourself how many of these apply to you and your life. If you use food in any of the ways listed below, you'll know that Emotional Eating is the real reason you struggle with your weight.

Type 1. Food: My Adult Pacifier
If you get really hungry when you feel angry, depressed, anxious, bored, or lonely, you use food to dull the pain that these emotions cause.

Type 2. I Stick Up For Myself by Stuffing Myself Up
If you react by getting hungry when others talk down to you, take advantage of you, belittle you, or take you for granted, you eat to avoid confrontation.

Type 3. Food: My One Faithful Friend
If you crave food when you have tension in your close relationships, you eat to avoid feeling the pain of rejection or anger.

Type 4. When I’m Chewing I Can’t Hear My Inner Critic
If you tend to become hypercritical of yourself, if you label yourself "stupid," "lazy," or "a loser," you eat to stuff down self-hatred.

Type 5. I Don’t Have Love but I Have Food
If your hunger gets activated because your intimate relationships don't satisfy some basic need like trust or security, you use food to try to fill the gap.

Type 6. Food Can’t Fill Up the Missing Parts in My Past
If you eat to make up for the deprivation you experienced as a child, you eat to forget the past.

Type 7. Don’t Tell Me What to Eat
If you eat to assert your independence because you don't want anyone telling you what to do, you eat to rebel.

Type 8. I’m Too Busy Eating to Take a Risk
If your appetite kicks in when you're faced with new challenges — if you use food to avoid rising to the test, you eat to protect yourself from the fear of failure.

Type 9. Fall in Love? I’d Rather Fall in Chocolate.
If you stuff your face in order to avoid your sexuality — either to stay overweight so that nobody desires you or to hide from intimate encounters — you eat to protect yourself from getting too close.

Type 10. I Use My Body as a Battleground
Emotional eaters often eat to pay back those who have hurt them, often in the distant past. They use their bodies as battlegrounds for working out old resentments. If you do this, you eat to get revenge or control anger.

Type 11. I Won’t Grow Up
If you eat to make yourself feel carefree, like a child, you eat to keep yourself from facing the challenges of growing up.

Type 12. I’m Secretly Afraid of Being Thin
If you overeat because you fear getting thin, either consciously or unconsciously, you eat to avoid the fear of change.

Emotional hunger is real. It’s part of life for everyone. If you address the things that make you emotionally hungry, you’ll have a chance of having real satisfaction in your life. But if you eat each time you’re emotionally hungry, you’ll miss the opportunity of satisfaction, and your emotional hunger will continue to grow along with your waistline. No matter what the source of your emotional hunger you'll find a way to address it at www.shrinkyourself.com

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by ChitChatNine, May 21, 2009
I'm over on the Wt. Loss & Dieting Community and just today (after 9 mos) have decided to really try to lose those pounds.  This is great info!


168348 tn?1379357075
by ChitChatNine, May 21, 2009

I've posted a link on our Wt. Loss & Dieting Community to your blog!


Co-CL Thyroid

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by margypops, May 21, 2009
Thank you Dr Gould thats some good info and by jingo its true I can say yes I have done that to several types.

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by Ranaesheart, May 21, 2009
Wonderful post and great information!  Being the CL of the WL&D Community and an Emotional Eater, I've learned the realities of what you have written and there are several types that I was/am afflicted with.  

Seems once we realize "what" we are doing, we can begin to implement our brain power to substitute emotional eating episodes with positive thoughts and behaviors to deal with our feelings.  What is it they say .. Knowledge is Power.  

We thank ChitChat for posting the link to your blog in our WL&D Community!  Thanks again, Dr. Gould, for sharing with us!

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