Why It’s Not Your Fault That You’re an Emotional Eater

Do you ever wonder why you experience food cravings, struggle with urges to eat, and often eat emotionally or binge eat? Often, these habits develop in childhood as learned self-soothe mechanisms that becomes automatic habits over time, eventually hardwiring their place in the brain. 

It’s not just that you have no willpower or control. There’s much more behind why you’ve developed emotional eating as a way to self-soothe.

The theory of emotional eating or binge eating, according to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

The theory is that if you were a sensitive child and grew up in an invalidating environment, then you were more vulnerable to develop emotional or binge eating habits. 

As a child you may have heard messages such as “be strong” or “toughen up” or “don’t cry” or “don’t be dramatic.” While your parents may have been well meaning, the impact was that as a child you thought you were wrong for feeling a certain way, so you looked for ways to make the feeling go away. Children have easy access to food, so that’s the solution you found!

The act of eating does feel good in the moment. You were a smart child. You found a solution that helped you feel better when you needed it. 

Over time, as you used this coping mechanism over and over again, it eventually became an automatic response and learned behavior.

This means that now, the moment your brain detects any inner emotional discomfort, it immediately sends you a signal to eat, without you consciously even realizing why. 

What was intended to make you feel better turned into an automatic habit that is no longer helpful. Emotional eating can often become an unhealthy and problematic coping style that leads to many issues including weight gain, low self-confidence and body image issues. 

The good news is once you understand that your ongoing struggle with food and eating isn’t just about a lack of willpower, you can begin to show yourself grace and empower yourself to learn the information, tools and processes to break your brain’s automatic coping mechanism. 

It is possible to change your brain and free yourself from this emotional eating cycle. I’m here to show you how. If you’re ready to get started, go ahead and schedule your complimentary discovery session, where we talk about what it is you’re struggling with and how I can help you overcome it.

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