The telltale sign of emotional eating is that you feel driven to eat. You don’t just see a brownie on the counter and want it; you go looking for the brownie because you need it.
Sometimes it’s a desperate feeling – you need that chocolate right now – and sometimes it’s just a case of the munchies with the vague feeling that something’s wrong.
Either way, the outcome is the same. You break your boundaries. What you really need is something to satisfy the ache inside you. If only food could do the trick.
The truth is, food will never satisfy us in those situations. We’ll always want more. Emotional eating is probably the driving force behind most of our high-calorie eating sessions because we’re trying to fill ourselves up with something that can never fill us.
Journal About the Situation – Not the Food
If you’re in an emotional eating situation, it probably won’t help to journal about the food. Instead, you need to journal about the situation that’s causing your distress. Get rid of the emotion, and you’ll also get rid of the drive to eat.
The renewing of the mind tools tab up above is full of tools you can use to go to God to work through your problems.
When we go to Him for help, He gives us wisdom, comfort, and character growth. He also gives us a biblical perspective which, more often than not, helps us see that life isn’t as bad as we think it is.
When we go to food for help with our problems we get five or ten minutes of comfort and a life of being controlled by food. It’s not worth the consequences, but we think it is because it’s so fun – and it makes us forget our troubles for awhile.
For a helpful post about emotional eating, click here: Journaling the Food vs. Journaling the Emotions.
- What is the biggest trial going on in your life right now – or the one that’s making you want to break your boundaries the most?
- Have you tried renewing your mind about that situation? If not, what is keeping you from going to God to work through your problems?
- What would your life (and your relationship with God) look like two or three months down the road if, instead of eating whenever that situation came up, you were to go to God to see the situation from His point of view?
- Do the following Bible study with that trial in mind: Keeping the Faith in the Storms of Life. (It may also be helpful to do this Bible study with the trial of weight loss in mind!)
- For the next week or so, try to go to God once a day for help with your trial. If you need ideas of how to work through your trial, check out the renewing of the mind tool category of this blog. (If I’m really in a turmoil, truth journaling works best for me.)
If you feel like eating for emotional reasons, try these questions from I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat):
Emotional Eating Questions
- What’s going on in your life right now that’s making you want to eat?
- What emotion are you experiencing?
- Will eating make you feel better? If so, for how long?
- Will eating solve your problems?
- Will eating create any new problems? Explain.
- What do your boundaries protect you from?
- Do you need protection today?
- What do you think God wants to teach you through this trial?
- What can you thank God for in this situation?
Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study is now available on Amazon.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt I NEEDED to eat something, just a strong urge! Maybe I’m lying to myself…
For me, it depends on what’s behind the strong urge. If it’s a pan of lemon bars on the kitchen counter that I see as I walk through the kitchen, it’s the food itself that’s giving me the strong urge. But if I’m up at my desk writing and can’t figure out what to write and I get a strong urge to eat – it’s probably emotional eating fueled by frustration!
Elizabeth Archer says
Ah, yes, for me. Turning to food instead of God………..and then feeling even worse……….two problems instead of one.
Love the questions Barb. I was thinking last night, many weight loss groups tell you or suggest to you what your answers may be to their questions. This causes me to not answer the questions then and to just think their suggested answers are trivial to my situation.
I like how you just ask~ and I like that I have to answer!
The funny thing is, I actually like writing questions! When I was writing the app questions, I just kept asking myself questions until I found a set that convicted me. Fortunately, I’m a well-rounded “fault” person – since I experienced every fault on the app, I was a good guinea pig to try them out on!
I turn totoday to emotional eating while waiting on God. I turn to him I pray and fast and I love growing closer to God. Yet when I feel far away from God or like He is not answering. I look to fasting for my strong hold. Turning to his strength in fasting but when it still brings crickets and I try to force i end up giving in to emotional binge eating. Afterwards I want to purge for control. But I know God is displeased with gluttony and warns of it. Then I feel worse!!!!
Barb Raveling says
Hi Adrienne, I feel your pain – I’ve been in that position before and it’s not fun! Overeating was that one thing in life I felt like I could never get over. It is possible to change but it takes a lot of time, unfortunately. :( I just did a podcast interview that might be helpful – here’s a link to it: http://tastefortruth.com/coaching-entitlement-renewing-and-the-slow-process-of-change-with-mindy . Praying God will give you freedom in this area!
It does take a while before we can consistently choose better. That even encourages me more because I keep growing as time goes on. One more decision to keep at it gets us even closer. Wrong decisions do not have to take us back If we can get wisdom from them. Let us focus on how time benefits us, and not how long it takes. God bless you all.
Barb Raveling says
Yes, I love that message, Doreen. Thanks for adding that encouragement to the conversation!