Are you tired of your relationship with food controlling or limiting your life?
Have you postponed or avoided life activities because of your weight? Are you ready to reclaim your body, your mind, and your life? You can learn to create a healthy relationship with food and your body. Emotional eating therapy can help you get back on track.
We specialize in helping you overcome emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive eating, yo-yo dieting and other forms of disordered eating. Our approach is integrative addressing the multiple mind, body and emotional factors that can lead to emotional eating.
Your relationship with food and your body is primary to all of your life. Without food, we can’t live, and without a good relationship with food and our body, we can’t thrive or reach our full potential.
What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is the practice of consuming food in response to cues other than biological hunger. We all eat emotionally some of the time, and use food to regulate our emotions to some degree.
When eating to self-soothe becomes your primary means of coping with stress and takes up much of your time and energy, it becomes problematic and is referred to as compulsive emotional eating. Restrictive eating can also be a way of calming yourself or feeling in control of your emotions. Over time this can lead to an eating disorder.
Many issues with food aren’t really about food at all. They indicate that something in life is out of balance. For some people, it might be habit, or “in front of me” eating.
For others, it can indicate that the body is out of balance. Whether due to chronic stress, hormonal, brain chemistry (such as in depression, trauma or ADD) or other physical imbalances. These types of imbalances often lead to strong cravings and ups and downs in energy.
What’s important here is to learn ways to connect with your body and balance your body’s chemistry. Having a thorough evaluation with your doctor of blood work, thyroid, hormones, vitamin deficiencies and blood sugar can also be important.
Many people also experience distraction, comfort, soothing, or safety in food. Sometimes food is comforting a clear trigger such as anger and shame over a negative performance evaluation while most often, it comes on mindlessly due to a subtle emotional trigger such as boredom, irritability, or simply the need to take a break. While this may take the edge off stress in the short-term, turning to food as your primary coping strategy can become an addiction or an eating disorder in the long-term.
If you’re like many people feeling out of control with food, the knee-jerk reaction is to try and control food, for example, through dieting. Diets don’t work in the long run and can lead to further complications. In fact, restriction can often cause bingeing later.
It’s important to learn to balance each layer so that you can heal from the inside out. Many diet and weight loss programs only address one aspect, leaving you without the tools you really need to heal. What’s needed is a way to restore balance and meet the underlying physical, emotional and spiritual needs (or hungers). This is not a quick weight-loss solution, but rather a long-term physical and emotional health solution. You will learn to tune into and respond to your body’s needs in a way that nurtures and supports your best self.
Therapy for Emotional Eating Can Help You:
- Learn to recognize, understand, and meet your needs
- Take the judgment out of food and make peace with food
- Stop emotional eating and conquer cravings
- Assert yourself and communicate your needs with others
- Challenge limiting body and food related beliefs
- Cope with emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, and loneliness without the use of food
- Increase self-esteem and body acceptance
- Decrease feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life
- Return to your body’s natural and healthy weight
- Live your life based on your values
- Make peace with food, mind and body
- Make peace with yourself and heal shame and self-judgment
Emotional Eating Vs. Attuned Eating Process
What is Attuned Eating?
Ultimately, making peace with food involves attunement with food, mind, and body. The process of making peace with food and becoming an attuned eater involves 3 primary internal stages:
- Practicing physical self-care including sleep, not skipping meals
- Honoring your hunger
- Recognizing and respecting fullness
- Discovering satiety and satisfaction from food
- Movement and exercise
- Honoring health
- Rejecting diet mentality
- Awareness of and elimination of food rules
- Recognizing core beliefs about self
- Challenging negative self-talk about food and body image
Feelings & Emotions
- Coping with feelings without using food
- Practicing mindfulness skills
- Focusing on values vs. fears
Make Peace with Food Therapy Group
Our group programs offer additional opportunities for growth and support for people who struggle with food issues. Groups can be a powerful way to heal from emotional eating as you embark on the journey to recovery with others who understand and support you. Our structured group lasts for 12 weeks and begins at different times throughout the year. Groups are offered during lunchtime hours from 11:45-1pm. Following the group program or workshop, support group opportunities are available. Click here to find out more about our make peace with food therapy group.
A dietician may also be beneficial for you in your recovery from emotional eating or an eating disorder. Contact us if you would like a referral.
Your Next Steps
Click here to schedule an appointment with a counselor in Houston, Tx (online therapy is also available), or call us at 832-559-2622 to find out more about an upcoming group.