The 3 Biggest Myths About Emotional Eating

Many of us turn to food to cope with feelings, then we beat ourselves up. Personally, I’m guilty of turning to food when I’m exhausted and then feeling bad about not making great choices or eating when I wasn’t truly hungry. But what we don’t realize is that emotional eating is natural and inborn, and it’s not a matter of having too little willpower. The healing process means getting unstuck from negative patterns, reframing our inner dialogue, and acknowledging the different parts of us and what they’re each asking for. Feeling guilty and disempowered isn’t doing us any good.

Today I’m excited to sit down with a leading expert in the field of emotional eating and a good friend, Marc David. We kick off our conversation with the three biggest myths of emotional eating and how to address them. Marc explains that from the moment we’re born food is imprinted on us as a comfort, when we cry we are fed and we feel better. This can carry through into adulthood with us, especially for those of us who have gone through trauma and adverse childhood experiences. One of my favorite quotes from the writer Byron Katie is, “What am I feeling and what do I need?” It’s often not what you’re eating, but what’s eating you.

Emotional eating means we’re not addressing deeper problems, and that we’re letting our inner child run the show. Marc and I discuss how to start recognizing the different voices we all have within us, and finding other ways to calm the inner child while letting our adult minds run the show. One of my favorite tips from Marc is to create an emotional menu. List out all the things in life other than food that make you feel good, and then as you continue to practice mindfulness and you catch yourself on the cusp of emotional eating, you can choose another option off the menu to occupy yourself and get the same feel-good boost. Marc has such a positive and empowering message about changing our relationship to food and processing our emotions in a healthy way.

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