This post contains some of the best emotional eating quotes.
What Is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating (also called binge eating, compulsive eating, comfort eating, or stress eating) refers to the act of using food to manage difficult feelings.
Eating lights up the reward system in the brain. It makes us feel good so it makes sense that one could become addicted when they use food to soothe themselves each time their dealing with painful emotions.
Although food can make you feel better, it doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, food can become a problem and cause eating disorders.
Emotional Eating Quotes
1. “As you do the inner work necessary to curb emotional eating, it is crucial to encircle yourself with supportive people.” – Meryl Hershey Beck
2. “Do we really need to dredge up all of those painful memories to stop our emotional eating? The answer is no. In fact, often it’s counterproductive and retraumatizing to revisit them. But if there are painful experiences that you haven’t processed properly, they may be fueling emotional reactivity, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, and emotional eating.” – Julie M. Simon
3. “Eating to turn off feelings doesn’t fully appease your feelings; instead it just adds more psychological (and caloric) weight to the experience.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
4. “Emotional eating is a popular term used to describe eating that is influenced by emotions, both positive and negative.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
5. “Emotional eating is eating primarily to relieve emotional discomfort rather than physical hunger. It includes binge eating as well as eating that doesn’t involve a loss of control.” – Debra L. Safer, MD Sarah Adler, PsyD Philip C. Masson, PhD
6. “Emotional eating is not in itself a specific eating disorder, though emotional eating occurs in eating disorders.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
7. “Emotional eating is problematic whether or not you feel a loss of control, because when you eat in response to intense emotions you are strengthening the connection between emotional discomfort and eating. In addition, by avoiding the opportunity to learn and practice adaptive ways to cope with your emotions, you will be more likely to engage in emotional eating or escalate to binge eating when you’re faced with triggers.” – Debra L. Safer, MD Sarah Adler, PsyD Philip C. Masson, PhD
8. “Emotional eating is related to feelings of inadequacy (Waller and Osman 1998). Emotions may seem so intense that we feel we need to instantly manage them by escaping with food, or we may feel we lack other tools to cope with distress.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
9. “Emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive overeating—whatever we want to call it, the actions and results are similar: out-of-control eating often resulting in overweight or obesity.” – Meryl Hershey Beck
10. “Emotional overeating involves eating large quantities of food in a short period of time, feeling out of control during these binges, eating rapidly, eating without physical hunger, choosing to eat alone, grazing (nibbling at food all day), and/or feeling depressed about overeating.” – Meryl Hershey Beck
11. “Feelings may affect various aspects of your eating, including your motivation to eat, your food choices, where and with whom you eat, and the speed at which you eat. Most overeating is prompted by feelings rather than physical hunger. Individuals who struggle with obesity tend to eat in response to emotions.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
12. “For example, a benefit of emotional eating might be distraction, while a cost might be extra calories. A benefit of sitting with emotions (not engaging in emotional eating) is building a sense of mastery, while a cost may be discomfort. It is helpful to specify whether a benefit or cost affects you in the short term or long term.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
13. “I explain that for many of us, emotional eating is due to a spiritual hunger, a hunger for a deeper meaning to life—and we’re attempting to fill that void with food.” – Meryl Hershey Beck
14. “If you eat in response to feelings, you often fail to appreciate the message the feelings relay.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
15. “If you struggle with emotional eating, you may try to plan your meals, eat mindfully, and also accept your emotions and setbacks. You may notice wisely, “I’ll do my best to sit with emotions and eat right—and I’ll never wear a size 2, given my body type.” Or, “It makes sense I ate an unplanned snack given that this is a tough habit to break. I will also make sure to slow down the next time I face urges.” This is quite different from the harsh “I overate, I need to skip a meal”; the permissive “It’s okay, I’ll change when things are easier”; or the passive “Why bother?”” – Jennifer L. Taitz
16. “If your worth depends on how you look and what you eat, and you are struggling with emotional eating and your self-image, how effective is it to make the focus of your life the area that causes you pain? Making eating and your appearance the focus of your life will perpetuate your struggle.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
17. “In order to understand the behavior of emotional eating, you have to tune in to and explore your inner world. Getting clear on what you feel is the first step in determining what you truly need and resolving your emotional eating.” – Julie M. Simon
18. “Many people who struggle with emotional eating perceive hunger in all-or-nothing terms, associating mild hunger with tremendous discomfort. The failure to accept hunger might maintain emotional eating.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
19. “Moving away from emotional eating may not be a deprivation as much as an opportunity to live according to the path you choose.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
20. “Self-rejection and self-criticism trigger both hopelessness and powerlessness. These states are not motivating: instead they lead to depression, isolation, resignation, apathy, and emotional eating.” – Julie M. Simon
21. “Social media allows us to subjugate feelings and problems we don’t want to confront, like emotional eating or substance abuse, thus perpetuating our problems and delaying our happiness.” ― Sam Owen
22. “The primary cause of your emotional eating is disconnection from yourself. You’re cut off from the most basic signals from your brain and body: your emotions and the way they present in your body as sensations.” – Julie M. Simon
23. “The term “binge eating” just doesn’t resonate with everyone. Sometimes people call their problems with food “emotional eating.” Others describe a pattern in which they tend to “graze” continuously on small amounts of food, despite not feeling hungry. Yet other patients feel they eat without paying attention to what they are eating. They call themselves “mindless eaters” and feel their mindless eating serves an emotional function” – Debra L. Safer, MD Sarah Adler, PsyD Philip C. Masson, PhD
24. “Though not all obese individuals are compulsive overeaters, experts believe that about 75 percent of overeating is emotional eating—using food to deal with feelings.” – Meryl Hershey Beck
25. “What is truly behind emotional eating? It is our unwillingness to accept, or sit with, our emotions. But when we eat for emotional reasons, we don’t ever actually rid ourselves of our emotions. Rather, entering into and accepting our emotions is the doorway to freedom and joy, as well as relief from the cycle of emotional eating.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
26. “When our emotional needs are poorly met in childhood, we fail to learn how to connect to our inner world in a nurturing way. This disconnection can lead to a painful, desperate sense of emptiness, loneliness, and insecurity and a joyless existence that fuels emotional eating.” – Julie M. Simon
27. “When you experience an emotion and eat in response, you may experience more of the same emotion, as well as other emotions that arise in response to emotional eating.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
28. “You may wish to end emotional eating, lose weight, or rid yourself of difficult emotions, but are you willing to actively accept what is in this moment and in each step of the process? Willfulness is similar to wishing your problems away; willingness is accepting what is and actively participating in the process of change. Remember, though, willingness is a practice, not a state of being; no one is ever perfectly willing all the time.” – Jennifer L. Taitz
How to Overcome Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is a common problem that many people face, and it can be challenging to overcome. However, there are some scientifically proven strategies that can help.
1. Identify Triggers
The first step is to identify what triggers your emotional eating. This could be stress, anxiety, boredom, or even certain environmental cues such as the sight or smell of food. By identifying your triggers, you can start to develop coping mechanisms for when these triggers arise.
2. Develop Coping Mechanisms
Once you have identified your triggers, develop healthy coping mechanisms to replace emotional eating. For example, if stress is a trigger, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. If boredom is a trigger, find other ways to distract yourself such as reading or taking a walk.
3. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating involves paying attention to your food and eating slowly, savoring each bite.
This can help you become more aware of hunger and fullness cues, which can prevent overeating.
4. Keep a Food Diary
Keeping track of what you eat can help you become more aware of your eating habits.
Write down what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat. This can help you identify patterns and make changes accordingly.
5. Seek Support
Seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
They can provide encouragement, accountability, and help you work through any underlying emotional issues that may be contributing to your emotional eating.
6. Practice Self-Compassion
Being kind to yourself when you slip up can help you stay motivated and confident as you work to overcome emotional eating.
You may find repeating the following statements helpful:
1. “I acknowledge that emotional eating is a challenge, and I’m working on finding healthier ways to cope.”
2. “It’s okay to have moments of struggle with emotional eating. I’m human, and I’m learning to be kind to myself during this process.”
3. “Instead of judging myself for emotional eating, I choose to show myself compassion and understanding.”
4. “I deserve love and care, even when I make choices that aren’t aligned with my goals. I will take steps forward and learn from my experiences.”
5. “I accept that emotional eating is a response to my emotions, and I will explore healthier outlets for managing my feelings.”
6. “I remind myself that emotional eating doesn’t define me as a person. I have many other strengths and qualities that make me unique.”
7. “I forgive myself for any past instances of emotional eating. Today, I choose to prioritize my well-being and make healthier choices.”
8. “I recognize that self-care involves nurturing my emotional needs without solely relying on food.”
9. “I’m committed to developing a healthier relationship with food and learning new coping strategies that nourish my body and mind.”
10. “I am worthy of a life free from the grip of emotional eating, and I’m taking positive steps to achieve that.”
Overcoming emotional eating takes time and effort, but with the right strategies and support, it is possible.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive a commission from BetterHelp, at zero cost to you, if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.