Emotional eating…or something else?

I was reading an article recently (link down below if you are interested), which spoke about eating disorders and the psychological aspect of binging in terms of the emotional reasons people pick up that block of chocolate and eat the whole thing.

In all the examples they gave of the type of food people were pigging out on, it was junk food. McDonalds, KFC, commercial chocolate, cakes, biscuits, and ice cream were some examples. Never once do you hear the story… and she was so upset she ate five bowls of salad and a whole watermelon.

Now I have written about this before (Blog post – The cheesecake is calling me…) and I am sure that many times there may actually be psychological issues at play, everyone is different, I get that. However the point I want to get across is that this is not always true because it wasn’t true for me. It was purely that certain foods were addictive for me and if I ate one, then I ate the whole packet.

I wasn’t upset, didn’t have self esteem issues, or a bad life that needed comfort eating, none of that stuff. It was just that sugar, starches, salted/flavoured snack foods, diet coke and coffee made me out of control in terms of eating it constantly, in quantities that would never allow me to be a normal body weight and made me obsessive about eating it again and again.

The bone I am picking is that I believe there are many people out there who are like I was who haven’t heard this point of view and are therefore languishing in despair trying to work out what their ‘emotional issues’ are so they can get it under control. But often there are no emotional issues to find, so they are wasting their time, in pain for no reason, still overweight because they are barking up the wrong tree, maybe even having unnecessary therapy, and still just plain miserable about their life in general. Which is a damned shame because it may be all so unnecessary, if they only knew this stuff and applied it.

Even from the anxiety point of view, I am a firm believer that in some cases what you eat, drink and inhale may be the cause of anxiety issues.

I was having a cup of tea with a friend and one of her cousins from interstate came to join us. She was a nice enough girl but seemed really fidgety, jumpy, spoke really fast and kept looking around all the time. So we established that she hadn’t had anything to eat that day and was ripping into a double shot latte while with us, unless she excused herself to go have a cigarette. Then another coffee and more cigarettes and my friend later told me that yes, she is a very aggressive girl that suffers from anxiety issues.

No s#%* Sherlock, I would suffer from anxiety too if I was jangling my nervous system with no useful fuel, vitamins or minerals that your body craves and needs to actually function properly, just toxins to deal with and I’m sure late nights out drinking alcohol factored in there too somewhere. I guess some people just don’t want to believe it but again perhaps they don’t even know because I never find it discussed in articles like these.

I remember one day in my 20s I was having fun surfing in Anglesea in Victoria on a foam Malibu board. It was such fun to be out there I had no regard for the dagginess factor! Anyway, after one brilliant day instead of feeling exhilarated like I normally do, I sat there feeling really morose and forlorn. Thoughts entered my head like, “what’s the point of it all anyway, and if I died tomorrow I really wouldn’t care.” And the whole episode shocked me a little as I was normally a happy jolly person and never had thoughts like this before. Then I considered what else I had done that day and realised that all I had eaten was sugar – lollies, soda, cakes, ice cream and no real food. It totally spun me out that this stuff could cause such a head switch in a usually happy person. I ate some normal food – protein/salad/veges and all of the mind rubbish went away. Simple as that.

So what happens when a person continues to eat this junky stuff, either not realising that this is the cause or not wanting to believe it? My belief is that they suffer needlessly. They may go into therapy, may be encouraged by some doctor to go on pills which makes it worse or just battle along themselves living a miserable life. It’s such a shame when the answer may be so simple.

In the article too it mentioned something about eating raw cacao and gluten free would not make a difference. I agree about the gluten free part as the gluten free food still may be junk but in relation to raw cacao I believe this statement is just plain wrong. If you are feeling upset and this is the reason you eat but you then eat the most amazing food full of nutrients and exactly what your body/nervous system needs, this would go a long way to making you feel better without the shame, regret, remorse as well as physical damage and nerve jangling junk food overeating does to your body.

Also real food has an ‘off switch’ which signals you to stop eating where as junk food doesn’t have it for some people, making you more likely to eat way more than normal. Real food would nourish your cells and nervous system as well as keep your body to a reasonable weight, calming everything down eliminating more reasons to feel bad.

So if you recognise this behaviour or feel any of these ways yourself, I urge you to just pay attention to what you eat, it could make a whole world of difference.

Peace, calm and serenity.



Article referred to:


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