The New York Center for Eating Disorders offers individual therapy for emotional eaters. For more information about the specialized therapy we offer, contact me, Mary Anne Cohen, or call 718-788-6986.

Are You an Emotional Eater?

Are you an emotional eater? Do your feelings about yourself depend on how much you weigh? Have you ever found yourself "attacking" the food in your kitchen only to feel guilty afterwards? Have you ever gotten involved in a punishing exercise regime, resorted to throwing up, or taken laxatives to get rid of your food? Have you ever starved yourself? Do you go on and off diets? If you see yourself in any of these questions, then you may be an emotional eater.

Join the club. Millions of people struggle with food, with weight, calories, and body image. And for millions of people, the number they see on the scale dramatically dictates how they feel about themselves.

What is emotional eating and is there any hope to resolve it? Whenever you turn to food to comfort yourself or relieve stress you are emotionally eating. Whenever you try to compensate for how much you’ve eaten by purging or by excess exercise, you are an emotional eater. Whenever you ignore your hunger and try to restrict your calories and starve yourself, you are an emotional eater.

And why wouldn’t people turn to food when they are stressed out? After all, food is the safest, most available, cheapest, legal mood-altering drug on the market!

What are some of the emotional triggers that send people to overeating or purging or starving? Many people turn to food because they are lonely, bored, depressed, anxious, tired, or trying to procrastinate from doing a dreaded chore. Other emotional eating triggers include anger, the urge to cry, sexual tension, resentment, guilt, and even the discomfort of too much happiness! Any strong emotion that gives us a problem can cause us to turn to food as a coping strategy.

Food is always there to help us distract, detour, or deny our inner feelings.