Here are some questions for you that I’ve adapted from Roger Gould’s book about emotional eating called Shrink yourself.

The last time you ate too much

  1. Did your hunger come on suddenly?
  2. Did you need to eat something straight away when you felt hungry?
  3. When you were eating did you really think about what you were eating and how much?
  4. When you got hungry was there a certain type of food that you chose?
  5. Did you stuff it in?
  6. Any guilty feelings?
  7. Did you eat because you were upset or feeling empty?

Emotional Hunger

Emotional hunger comes on suddenly usually after some type of trigger and there is a need to satisfy it immediately. There are usually particular types of food that we choose to satisfy our emotional hunger ones that we feel guilty about eating after we have stuffed them in, with promises that we won’t do it again next time……

It’s common that even while eating we barely notice how it tastes, how much of it we’re eating and whether we feel full.

What about real physical hunger?

Physical hunger builds gradually; a tummy rumble that gets stronger evolving into hunger pangs over time.  At the gym, our coach Tom regularly reminds people that it’s ok to feel hungry and to look forward to a healthy meal at an appropriate time.  To satisfy physical hunger we make a deliberate choice of the foods that we will eat, notice how they taste and we can stop when we are full. There is no guilt attached to physical hunger as we eat to maintain our bodies and to keep healthy and well.

Have you been confusing emotional hunger with real biological physical hunger? Maybe your answers to the seven questions reveal that you might be an emotional eater.

So why does emotional eating happen and what are we really hungry for?

See my next post on Monday! Have a great weekend x

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher

Hello, I’m Eileen Fisher. I’m an indoor and outdoor therapist and nutritionist. I offer counselling and psychotherapy for both individuals and couples, as well as nutrition advice and support around disordered eating.

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