Emotional Eating

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After my car accident, I was not in the best mood last night.  However, the appearance of my BFF Lisette and her husband, Danny, made me feel so much better!


Lisette had a rough day, too, so we proceeded to forget our worries and reminisce about the good old days over beer:


And curly fries:


Since I wasn’t driving (obviously, since I don’t have a car anymore!), I had a fair amount of beer.  And I had a bowl of cereal when I came home.


This morning, I made pancakes for Lisette and Danny, but I stuck with stomach-settling oatmeal:


My oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings: flax, brown sugar, and almonds


I also had wheatgrass with apple juice.  I figured I needed something extra healthy after last night!


This morning I was thinking about emotional eating.  Obviously, I engaged in emotional eating (and drinking) last night after my rough day. I just wanted to bury my worries in curly fries, beer, and best friends. 


We always hear from experts about how emotional eating is “so bad.”  Because if you rely on your emotions to dictate when and how you eat – odds are, you won’t have a healthy diet (life is too crazy). 


I used to have a problem with emotional eating.  I would come home after a rough day and drown my sorrows in a pint of ice cream, double portions of mashed potatoes, or a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies (no joke).  I would also overeat (or overdrink) when I was happy.  But once I started to focus more on health, I learned to curb my emotional eating and replaced that habit with more healthy outlets for my stress (like exercising). 


But sometimes…. I’m going to make the argument that emotional eating isn’t always SO bad!  It was fun to “cut loose” last night and just eat curly fries for dinner.  The beer helped, too.  :)  And honestly… it DID make me feel better!


Is emotional eating ALWAYS bad?  Do you sometimes enjoy a good emotional eat (like I did last night)?  If you stopped emotional eating because you found it to be a destructive behavior, how did you stop?



  • Heather January 22, 2010, 8:31 am

    I def used to come home after work and eat way too much just because I had a rough day-felt like I deserved it. But I am made some changes in my way of eating/thinking and realized that I only felt worse after I did it, so I don’t do it anymore but I still slip up every now and then! I find that talking about what is bothering me helps so much more than eating it!

  • Meredith January 22, 2010, 8:34 am

    I had a very, very bad relationship with food for a long time, especially during the stress of my parents’ divorce, my first couple years of college, and then losing my father. But after I lost my father, I realized that food was dictating my health and that was NOT good. I decided to re-examine my relationship with food. Its one that I’m still working on and still struggling with, but I’ve grown leaps and bounds (and lost 60 lbs in the process). I still have some more learning to go and lbs to lose, but I feel like I’m finally in a healthy relationship with food.

  • Janelle January 22, 2010, 8:36 am

    I totally agree – sometimes it is completely OK to dig in to foods that are filling and emotional – not a physical – need. I think as long as you can acknowledge that you are eating for an emotional reason and get back on track without guilt the next day, you’ve done alright. Food isn’t just for nutrients and calories, it has a social component to it as well!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet January 22, 2010, 8:50 am

    I think emotional eating is so different for others. SOmetimes I have really emotionally ate, but other times I just really love food. I have eaten through all emotions – happy, sad, angry…

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 22, 2010, 8:50 am

    Emotional eating is a hard habit to break, but I agree with the people above: as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing and it isn’t a daily, compulsive habit, once in awhile it’s okay to indulge. We all want to drown our sorrows in a bowl of ice cream sometimes. 😉

  • Amy January 22, 2010, 8:53 am

    I think its totally one of those things that we’re just exposed to… We have yummy food to celebrate, and some of us (me!) have yummy food to lift our spirits when down.

    Being the twisted person that I am, when I eat emotionally I end up feeling worse because my healthy conscience takes over and then I feel guilty for eating too many calories.

    Its never a good thing for me.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat January 22, 2010, 8:53 am

    I don’t think it is always bad if you have control. If you know that this is just a once in a while thing. But it’s when you start to eat all your emotions and eat until you are sick, that is becomes a problem.

    It’s taken me a long time to realize all of this, I used to be a very heavy emotional eater too. Hang in there girl, I’m sorry to hear you had a rough day!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) January 22, 2010, 8:56 am

    I am and will always be an emotional eater. It’s just the degree/extent to which I allow those emotions to dictate my eating. It happens especially when I’m stressed and there is no way around it. I can’t just sit down and write out my thoughts and NOT eat at least 1 piece of chocolate!! However, I feel like you can *mindfully* emotionally eat and try and eat a more realistic portion or whatever it is you are eating. Ex. 3 pieces of chocolate vs. 30 pieces.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 22, 2010, 8:59 am

    Emotional eating is fine sometimes! As long as it’s not an every day thing, aren’t we all allowed to indulge every once in a while?

  • Karla January 22, 2010, 9:02 am

    I think it’s different for each person. For me, emotional eating has so many different feels attached to it. When I (over)eat emotionally I usually feel guilty, upset and disgusting, not better. So I can see where emotional eating be not so bad but for me emotional eating means a whole list of feelings I would rather not feel.

  • Evan Thomas January 22, 2010, 9:02 am

    I think emotional eating is only bad when it’s a binge and out of control; some nights I just want to come home to a bowl of warm mac and cheese, which in theory technically counts as emotional eating because what I’m eating is driven by emotions. At the same time, I choose whole wheat macaroni and light cheeses to make it a healthy dish.
    I would agree with you and say, if it’s not a bing, it’s really just eating with a purpose

  • Matt January 22, 2010, 9:04 am

    I think emotional eating is ok sometimes. Food = comfort. As long as it doesn’t happen too much…

  • Jo January 22, 2010, 9:04 am

    Firstly, hope you are alright after your accident, how awful. No matter how small a bump I have, it always shakes me up.

    I defintely have tendencies towards emotional eating but I try to be aware of it and realise that food will not fill that void! However, eating, as with most things in life are connected to our emotions and it is very difficult not to view food as merely fuel. For example, going out for supper with friends and enjoying having a meal together. I think that its ok to allow your emotions to interfere with your eating provided its in moderation and that you are aware of it. You may have a bad day and go, gosh I feel like chocolate! But have a little just don’t binge on the stuff.

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 9:09 am

      thanks 🙂 i feel ok. i’m just more annoyed at the headache of my car being destroyed!

  • Joanne January 22, 2010, 9:09 am

    So sorry about the accident. But your okay! You look great so it was a mental injury and of course your car. Still…very lucky.
    As for emotional eating, it happens to me but I think we need to still be aware of our stopping points. Have ONE indulgence to “heal the hurt” so to speak. If you go farther, you just feel worse and guilty. Especially if you are really in touch with your body and maintaining healthy habits.
    I think it is much more rewarding to shut the door and have a good cry. Then chew a good listeners ear off. They will no doubt offer support. Everything is better…or at least a little better.
    All that being said, those curly fries look so good!

  • Bridget January 22, 2010, 9:13 am

    I hope that you continue to have a good time with your friends. Glad to hear that you weren’t hurt at all in the accident, and also sending quick recovery wishes to your car!

    I’ve been trying to control my emotional eating extra diligently since I have returned from the states. It’s going okay, but there are definitely days where I figure I’m more than entitled. That’s where it gets dangerous! Today, for instance: my boss had taken my bike so the lock could be changed (it’s the school board’s bike). I had a long bike ride planned for tomorrow, but now, the gears won’t shift, and the light won’t work! >sigh< I *almost* had French fries and ice cream for dinner to soothe my frustration/anger, but remembered my beautiful pomegranate (purchased yesterday) waiting for me. It was a better choice.

    Have a good weekend!

  • julia January 22, 2010, 9:13 am

    I’m so glad you are okay! Car accidents are so scary.

    I completely agree with you. Sometimes the only cure for a bad day is french fries or ice cream and that’s okay!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 22, 2010, 9:13 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your accident! I caught little bits about it on Twitter last night, and then I had to unplug… Emotional eating isn’t a problem if its for something like a car accident or death in the family. BUT, as someone with a major emotional eating problem, its when it becomes eating when happy, sad, tired, you know…EVERY emotion.

  • megan January 22, 2010, 9:14 am

    i am so with you on this topic. eating is fun! And sometimes it does make me feel better to eat something that tastes wonderful. But then again, I normally don’t feel guilty afterwards, so maybe that’s where the line should be drawn?

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) January 22, 2010, 9:15 am

    So sorry about the accident 🙁

    You know, you put a very interesting twist on the emotional eating label! I have always looked at it as a bad thing and I struggle with it all the time. But, now, I see your point about it not always being a bad thing. I guess the bottom line is if you enjoyed yourself and are not beating yourself up over the choices that you made, then it’s ok. It wasn’t emotional eating, it was just having fun! I think if it happened on a very regular basis, though, it may start to take on a negative feel. Everything in moderation! And you do such a good job of that 🙂

    Glad you’re okay!

  • jessicaamc January 22, 2010, 9:18 am

    I definitely don’t think that emotional eating is always bad. I think last night was a great example of doing it right. I highly doubt that you drank an entire pitcher and ate all the food yourself. Days like yesterday (hopefully) don’t happen too often. I think you handled it great!

  • kristen January 22, 2010, 9:22 am

    I think emotional eating is fine occasionally and as someone mentioned earlier- especially if you know that you are doing it. And as long as it isn’t your ONLY outlet for stress and emotion, it can be really fun to have a night of “I know I’m having a drink too many and some delicious delicious fries…but I’m having fun and it isn’t like it happens all the time!”

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 22, 2010, 9:22 am

    I completely agree with you, sometimes it’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, after a hard day, an indulgent meal or dessert actually DOES make you feel better. It’s NICE to “let loose” and not worry about calories, fat, nutrition, etc. Just eat what tastes good. As long as it’s not a habit, I say go for it. Especially after the day you had.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 22, 2010, 9:23 am

    I hate it when people just put that umbrella of “badness” over emotional eating. I think sometimes if you’ve had a rough day and you want a cupcake, then damn it, eat a cupcake! And enjoy it too! I think where it crosses the line into being unhealthy is with binge eating, or emotional eating that happens every night. I mean, if you eat emotionally EVERY time you feel lonely, sad, bored, or just a little stressed, you (or I, personally), would eat emotionally MANY times over the course of a normal week. I think that’s why it’s so important to find other outlets– exercise, calling a friend, playing with your dogs, whatever– so that food isn’t ALWAYS the answer.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 22, 2010, 9:24 am

    I only think it’s bad if you do it so frequently that it gets in the way of your overall diet. It’s a good stress reliever, just like exercising or screaming. Now, if it only makes you feel guilty and worse than whatever the reason you did it for, then that’s no good. I’m totally one to agree that curly fries and beer can make a bad day better, especially when you enjoyed them with good friends!

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething January 22, 2010, 9:25 am

    Sometimes it just feels good to eat and drink what you want without guilt. It feels good to let go……

  • Karin January 22, 2010, 9:26 am

    I think that it’s not always bad just as long as it doesn’t become a habit. I experience the same things like you now and am ok with the occational emotional eating (which happens rarely though). On the other hand I can also understand that it’s difficult for people who struggle with healthy eating.

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) January 22, 2010, 9:28 am

    So sorry to hear about your car accident! I don’t think emotional eating is always a bad thing. If you do it conscious once in a while, I think it is perfectly okay. If you do it every time something is bothering you, then it becomes a problem.

  • Pure2Raw Twins January 22, 2010, 9:28 am

    I agree that emotional eating can be both good and bad. I think you were just living life girl! I just love drinking and bowling ; ) My sister and I do the same thing after a bad day, not all bad days, but as some call it, one “cheat” day. I think letting loose is just as important as to staying on track. I am happy to hear you are okay, and enjoy your day!! You deserve it.

  • Amanda January 22, 2010, 9:29 am

    I emotionally ate (and drank) last night too. Whether its always bad or not I don’t know, but I know its a problem for me. Luckily when I’m at home and I emotionally eat (or binge) its usually on fairly healthy things because I don’t keep junk food in the house.

  • Emily January 22, 2010, 9:32 am

    I fully acknowledge that I can be an emotional eater: last weekend, I was feeling really sad, and the husband and I ate an entire large pizza together. I think what works best for me is the acknowledge what I’ve done and move on (and back into my regular healthy eating habits) w/o beating myself up over it.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 22, 2010, 9:33 am

    I’m a major emotional eater. It used to be way worse though. It used to be like chips and a beer every night or something along those lines. Now I sometimes emotional eat and sometimes not, and I’m okay with that. I know I’m healthy 95% of the time.

  • Cait January 22, 2010, 9:35 am

    I completely agree and I think its really nice to see a blogger write this. Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit down curling up with friends and family and eating mac & cheese and drinking a bit too much wine is exactly what I need. Comfort food IS comforting!

  • Hannah Hawley January 22, 2010, 9:35 am

    I am a total emotional eater. It is what has put me into shape I am today. It has not been healthy for me. Then again, I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am mad. I also eat when I am happy, and I eat to celebrate. When I think of emotional eating not being healthy, this is what I think of.
    When emotional eating is the exception, not the rule, it is far from unhealthy.

  • Julie January 22, 2010, 9:35 am

    I don’t think it’s the actual act of eating when emotional that is problematic. I think it’s the feelings associated with that behavior….so if you are eating because you are upset, stressed, overhelmed, {any feeling} and afterwards you feel upset, stressed, overwhelmed, and guilty because of your eating, then that’s when it’s a problem. If you can just go on with your healthy life, like you did, then in my opinion, that’s totally fine and normal. It’s not the eating, it’s the feelings surrounding the food.

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 9:40 am

      couldnt have said it better myself!

      • Julie January 22, 2010, 6:10 pm

        Thanks! I want to be a health psychologist (I have my master’s in clinical psych) and am interested in working with adolescents with eating disorders. I can’t wait til your book comes out. I think it’s going to help a lot of struggling young women!

        • caitlin January 22, 2010, 6:57 pm

          i hope so 🙂

  • skinnyrunner January 22, 2010, 9:36 am

    maybe if you can emotional eat in moderation, which sounds like you did, instead of binging and eating everything, then it isn’t so bad?? i dont know. good thought provoking question.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story January 22, 2010, 9:38 am

    I don’t know that emotional eating is always bad, but I know that if I do it, I’m more apt to do it again and again. That doesn’t mean I don’t do it, I do. I just have to be very aware of what I’m doing and when to stop or it turns into a binge. If that makes sense.

  • Hangry Pants January 22, 2010, 9:38 am

    I totally agree. I also think it’s okay to eat something (like cake) just because it’s a birthday. I don’t think eating solely for fuel or hunger is ever going to happen for me. I think it’s about identifying why you are eating and being okay with it – in moderation.

  • rachael January 22, 2010, 9:38 am

    I don’t think emotional eating is always bad . . . if’s it’s a rare thing and combined with other forms of stress release. I have found my “comfort foods” have become healthier as my eating habits have become healthier. Anything with tahini sauce is my ultimate comfort food now!

  • Hangry Pants January 22, 2010, 9:38 am

    P.S. I also just read about Kristien’s red hair and I wrote about my own yesterday. Kindred blog spirits.

  • katiek January 22, 2010, 9:39 am

    Heck no- emotional eating isn’t always bad! When we have a rough day that tops others I believe it ok to eat you craving and just chill. However I think it’s an emotional lifestyle that included unhappiness, depression, stress, etc. that makes for an unhealthy lifestyle because then one may alway choose to eat emotionally.

    Its intuitive eating.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner January 22, 2010, 9:41 am

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting loose with friends every once in a while! I am more concerned when I emotionally eat a pack of cookies at home alone…

  • Kristie January 22, 2010, 9:43 am

    I think my emotional eating really only gets out of control when I am eating alone, and I *think* that all I have is the food to comfort me. But going out with good friends, drinking beer and eating curly fries? That’s a combo of good things and honestly, when else will I let myself eat curly fries for dinner? Not often, even though they are one of the most delicious things on earth 😉

  • Judy January 22, 2010, 9:43 am

    Having struggled with my weight for 20 odd years, I have to say that I really don’t think there’s anything good to be said for emotional eating.

    Now, I absolutely do believe it’s okay to eat something decadent once in a while (and don’t forget you’re more bound to eat bad things when you’re drinking — so says the teetotaler), but only if you’re eating mindfully and making it an honest choice.

    I’d much rather destress by throwing some punches, dancing, or some other sweaty pursuit.

    But it’s taken me many years to get to that point. I mean really, only one sleeve of cookies? That’s nothing!

  • Haleigh January 22, 2010, 9:45 am

    I don’t believe that emotional eating is always bad. What about those summer days when you are taking a stroll with a loved one and you stop for ice cream? That’s obviously not a “controlled” healthy eating situation. It’s a situation in which you are enjoying yourself so you top it off with some ice cream. However, if eating is always emotionally based then of course, that’s not so good for your body or your soul. Also, I think stress-based emotional eating can set you up to overeating if you don’t realize what’s happening.

  • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com January 22, 2010, 9:47 am

    I don’t think emotional eating is bad! Emotional OVEReating is where the problem is, but I often emotional eat – my comfort food is a plate of stuffed pasta, or a hot chocolate, Nothing wrong with that!
    It’s only if people have emotional binges where the problem beings IMHO. As long as eating is mildly under control, I say we should embrace our emotions :p
    Besdies, after your crappy day yesterday, I think you definetly deserved to treat yourself last night, and you’re balancing it out with good healthy stuff today, so there’s defo no problem!
    Have a great day 🙂

  • Tammy @ Defining Wellness January 22, 2010, 9:49 am

    You ask great questions! I definitely think it’s a good thing to give in to emotional eating, but the key is, sometimes, not always!

  • Gracie January 22, 2010, 9:50 am

    Eating feels good, there’s nothing wrong with that. I love food, and I admit that food makes me happy! Think about all the memories we associate with food: pie at Thanksgiving, the special dish your grandmother makes, what you ate on your first date, the huge lollipop you begged for at an amusement park. It’s the fact that it’s a special occasion that makes it ok. If I ate to be happy all the time I’d be overweight and depressed.

  • Madeline January 22, 2010, 9:54 am

    Hey Caitlin! First of all, it was nice to see another picture with your dark hair. It looks so much better than awkward teenage orange! As someone who can’t decide between going lighter or going darker, I’m jealous of how amazingly your natural hair color suits you.

    I feel like emotional eating can be a good thing, as long as it’s just a treat. However, I definitely remember eating in order to hide other emotions, and it was extremely self-destructive. The cycle would just continue once I realized how much I had eaten, and so it was just this messy self-loathing catastrophe. I definitely love working out my feelings on the treadmill instead!

    I hope you get your car back soon!

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 9:58 am

      go darker! it’s low maintenance and you can dye it at home 🙂

      • Madeline January 22, 2010, 10:13 am

        Easier said than done! I just posted photos of myself as a blonde and a brunette on my blog, let me know what you think! I get so undecided about these things, ughhh

        • Madeline January 22, 2010, 12:33 pm

          Also, I’m doing a haircare giveaway now for a lucky person that leaves a comment. Thanks for the input, and good luck!

  • Kristine January 22, 2010, 9:55 am

    It is funny you mention this, because I never really considered myself an “emotional eater,” but when I look back on my past, I realized that a lot of my old eating habits were centered around emotions.

    One way that I broke this was by eating on more of a “schedule.” By eating this way, I didn’t really allow myself time or energy to emotionally eat, because I focused more on breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert. If you focus on the meals, it is harder to “emotionally eat.” At least, it was for me!

    That being said, there is definitely nothing wrong with emotional eating every once in awhile. We all do it, i’m sure!!!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) January 22, 2010, 9:55 am

    Aww – Lisette and Danny are so cute!
    I agree with you – sometimes a little emotional eating isn’t too bad. As long as the one who’s doing it is strong enough to not let it turn into a binge/occurr every day/etc.. but if why can’t have a cookie to make myself feel better every once in a while?

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated January 22, 2010, 9:56 am

    No way! Once in a while, a little emotional eating is JUST FINE! There is nothing wrong with taking pleasure from food – it’s supposed to taste good – and as long as it isn’t a habit, I just don’t see anything wrong with it! I have found that sometimes, a beer and some french fries, or a few chocolate chip cookies, or some Ben and Jerry’s just tastes SO DANG GOOD, BUT that if I eat those things often, they just don’t taste as good. Kudos to you for cutting loose last night!!!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite January 22, 2010, 9:58 am

    Emotional eating is different for everyone… so many definitions…

  • Shanna January 22, 2010, 9:58 am

    I’ve been struggling with emotional eating for years. I write about it almost every day and I’m still working on overcoming it…I loved your post. I do agree that every once in a while its ok to make yourself feel better with fries as long as you recognize that it’s emotionally satisfying then go back to your normal eating. It’s so encouraging to know that there are people who have actually overcome it…now I have some serious motivation to kick this bad habit for good! Thanks!

  • katherine January 22, 2010, 10:04 am

    I agree with Evan’s comment above. I associate “emotional eating” with eating out of control or eating to bury my emotions or stress. When my food decisions are emotion-drived, but in a healthy mindset and expressed in a good way, I think that’s just being true to myself! If I want something warm and comforting, I’ll make it, but I’m going to enjoy every bite and not go overboard.

  • Kayla@Wholesome January 22, 2010, 10:04 am

    Emotional eating is something I used to struggle with in a huge way, as in, I weighed over 60 more than I do now!! For me, realizing WHY I was eating was a huge one. I stopped eating in front of the computer and TV, and would be very thoughtful about WHY I felt hungry. Was it because I was sad, depressed, disappointed, or genuinely hungry?

    However, I agree that emotional eating on occasion isn’t always a terrible thing! My birthday, for example, is going to be a time when I will always emotionally eat, because it’s my birthday!! Sometimes life’s greatness just calls for a few extra beers or an extra piece of cake 🙂

  • Tracy January 22, 2010, 10:09 am

    I totally agree that emotional eating isn’t always so bad. I think you have a feeling that tells you when what you’re doing isn’t the best choice. In your case, you were hanging out with friends and having a good time. I used to have a major problem with binge eating in high school(as in I would hardly eat all day, then wait until everyone went to bed and scoured the kitchen for anything to satisfy me). Looking back, I can’t even believe some of the secretive habits I had related to food. And I think that’s when emotional eating is bad…when you try to hide it. There’s a very distinct feeling you get when you know you’re not making the best choice. I struggled for years with this. Before my most recent weight loss, everything I used to try to lose weight involved starving/binging. I had such an unhealthy relationship with food. Now that I’ve learned so much more about what’s actually in food and the importance of exercise, I never even have a thought of binging. Your post actually reminded me of that today. I can’t believe how far I’ve come since those days. The same thoughts that caused me to eat like that NEVER cross my mind anymore. I love being educated about my food choices and making the best ones to FUEL my body. Of course, I still enjoy my sweets, but I eat them in moderation without a second thought.

    So with that, I think it’s clear emotional eating isn’t really a problem if you just do it once in a blue moon, and especially in a social setting. You were just having fun and letting loose! You’re someone with very healthy habits, who has many positive outlets for dealing with stress, which is key. You also got right back to your normal routine the very next morning.

    It is a problem when we use food to cope with bigger life issues and struggle with it on a daily basis. And when it is our only outlet for dealing with stressful situations.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) January 22, 2010, 10:11 am

    I do not think Emotional eating is always bad — i mean if you think about it, hasn’t eating always been tied to our emotions in SOME way — when we’re happy and celebrating a birthday – we eat cake! Celebrating an anniversary? get out the wine and chocolate! Food is a huge part of our lives, so it’s no surprise it gets into a bit of a grey area when it comes to emotions — I think that if you are eating just to feel better, it can be dangerous because food doesn’t fix everything.

    But letting loose after a long day with your best friends and going a little overboard with french fries and beer is not a bad thing! In fact, one of the main reasons I work out and eat healthy is so that when those times happen, it doesn’t matter! I’ve told you my 90/10 rule, haven’t I?

  • Jen Papaya January 22, 2010, 10:26 am

    First off – when I first saw the bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, the dark liquid in the clear glass looked exactly like the beer you were drinking the night before. I did a triple take before I realized, no, she’s not drinking beer with breakfast 🙂 haha

    But yes, emotional eating is sometimes a must. It’s a problem when it becomes a habit, but if the situation is stressful enough, food really does make it better sometimes! When I was in a car accident this summer, they didn’t let me eat for over 12 hours (after I RAN 5 miles & didn’t eat breakfast before the crash!). I was miserable and starving and in the hospital, so as soon as they said I could eat, I had my sister bring me Pad See Ew from a Thai place. Drenched in oil, nothing nutritional about it, but it definitely helped A LOT.

    I say, if you’re healthy 85% of the time, then the other 15% you just do what you gotta do 😉

  • Jen Papaya January 22, 2010, 10:27 am

    oh and ps – i’m sorry to hear you were in an accident! scary isn’t it?? glad to see you’re a-ok!

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health January 22, 2010, 10:29 am

    I agree that emotional eating isn’t bad ALL of the time. In fact, I think that part of coming to terms with a truly healthy lifestyle is accepting the fact that it’s *okay* to use food as a form of comfort or celebration. The important thing is not to let it turn into a habit of binges, which unfortunately is what happens to many people…

  • Jenna January 22, 2010, 10:30 am

    Glad you did some emotional eating last night! After one bad day you deserve it and it’s not gonna kill ya!

  • Lisa January 22, 2010, 10:32 am

    I think it’s easy to slip up sometimes and sometimes there’s nothing wrong with it at all. we should enjoy life, and if that means enjoying food, along with friendship, then it’s okay. As long as I don’t fall into it on a regular basis and don’t go too overboard, then I’m okay with it.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 22, 2010, 10:36 am

    Constantly emotionally eating is definitely a bad thing but seriously, treating yourself once in a while I feel like isn’t even emotional eating. You allowed yourself to have that ‘treat’ on a day when you felt you deserved it more. Nothing wrong with that!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) January 22, 2010, 10:41 am

    i think it differs for everyone. if you have a strong grip on health and emotional eating isn’t something you engage in often, it’s probably not a bad thing to celebrate or eat something if you’re having a hard day. if you’re like me, and don’t have that strong grip just yet, it’s probably better to stick with something a little more constructive like working out or taking a nap.

    sounds like yesterday was just one of those days for you, and it doesn’t sound like you overdid it!

  • Katharine January 22, 2010, 10:44 am

    Mmmm, curly fries. I agree with you – I think “emotional eating” can be okay sometimes, in moderation just like everything else. It’s certainly not something you should rely on to get you out of your slump, but some good ol’ fashioned junk food can do wonders for a bad day every now and then!

  • Chari January 22, 2010, 10:46 am

    I think we all need to let loose every now and then — it’s an emotional pressure release!

    Like everyone else no doubt has said: Everything in Moderation.

  • ellie January 22, 2010, 10:47 am

    I think it’s natural to use food for emotional reasons sometimes…hence the term, “comfort food”. I think the unhealthy aspect comes from when you use food as a sole source of comfort (ie, you went out with friends so had social support/distraction/fun alongside food) and when it feels like an out of control binge or is causing health problems because it happens too frequently (in which case, other coping skills may be needed).

    I completely lose my appetite when I am stressed out or upset- it’s interesting to see how different moods affect different people’s appetite habits.

  • Laura @ FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! January 22, 2010, 10:53 am

    SO SORRY, to hear about your accident! =(

    I think “emotional eating” is ok, in moderation and not done the way I used to do when I was upwards of 246 POUNDS as I literally gained 80+ pounds by eating and eating and eating because I was depressed…..I was an offical Eatingacholic as I would call it, that isn’t good! However, a little emotional eating every now and then is ok and quite normal…..we all have our days when we just need a break from our usual healthy routine and want something bad!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing January 22, 2010, 10:55 am

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with occassionally drinking or eating out of an emotional need. As long as it’s occassional and you realize why you’re doing it it’s nothing to get super upset about! We’re all human and sometimes there’s something so comforting about a nice glass of wine or something similar 🙂

  • Cyclist Kate January 22, 2010, 10:58 am

    I was a non-purging bulimic (I know this sounds like an oxymoron but just means I didn’t throw up…compensated by starving myself and overexercising alternating with bingeing) for over 7 years. And for a long time I thought that all emotional eating was bad because a lot of my binges were in part emotionally led; I’d have a bad day (obviously! I was hungry!) then go home and binge.

    As much as I tried, this emotional eating never really went away, even after I stopped bingeing. Even if I was doing everything “right,” there would be rough times when I would automatically go for the food to drown out my pain. Then, one day, while on exchange, feeling lonely and bored, scared, missing my boyfriend, etc., I was standing in front of my closet, frantically gorging french bread. And it hit me: this isn’t going to fix anything. This isn’t going to make me feel better. All it’s going to do is give me a distraction for awhile (how bad I felt, how guilty I felt, how I was going to “fix” it) and all this sadness and pain will still be here, waiting for me. I can’t avoid it with food. And that was the last binge I had. Of course, it had been years of work to get to that place, but it was really an “ah-ha” moment.

    Now that I’ve started studying and practicing Intuitive Eating and Geneen Roth’s methods, I’ve thankfully allowed a bit of emotional eating back into my life. I can do this because I *know* what I’m doing. Now I can say, “wow, I’m really tired, hungry, and I had a rough day. All I want is to sit on the couch with my boyfriend watching movies and eating a big plate of lasagne” and know it’s safe, because I’ll enjoy that food and stop when I’m satisfied. I’m eating primarily because I’m hungry but I’m choosing my food based not only on what will be satisfying but also what will make me feel nourished. I feel safe doing this and it’s not a primary tool in my pocket re: dealing with emotions. However, it sure is nice to not see food as the enemy anymore and to be able to get emotional satisfaction out of it as well as physical without being terrified that I’m out of control or abusing myself.

    Long story short, yes, emotional eating is great sometimes, as long as you acknowledge what you’re doing and don’t hurt yourself (i.e. overeat or eat a ton of food that’s going to make you feel awful) in the process. It’s all about mindfulness and honoring yourself.

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 1:52 pm

      this is a really thoughtful and well-written comment. thank you!

  • Leo @ cupcakes in Paris January 22, 2010, 11:02 am

    No, emotional eating is not always bad. What’s bad is to keep doing it for extended periods of time. That’s when it become self destructive. Moderation is the key.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 22, 2010, 11:04 am

    I think emotional eating is fine if you only do it every once in awhile. I know I do it, and I have no regrets! Obviously doing it every night wouldn’t be healthy, but sometimes food just helps to relieve some stress.

  • Amber K January 22, 2010, 11:14 am

    I just need to be able to label the eating as “emotional” at the time. Then, I feel completely fine and know I can relax and get right back on track with my next meal. I only regret emotional eating when I give in without thinking and try to completely drown my sorrows in food and food alone.

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life January 22, 2010, 11:15 am

    Glad to hear that you are okay. I think emotional eating is okay in certain situations.

  • Kristina January 22, 2010, 11:17 am

    I’ve been an emotional eater since the age of 7, when my parents split up. I’ll be 30 in March, and I still struggle. In middle school, it was a horrendously vicious cycle. I was made fun of for being chunky, which in turn lead to more and more binge eating. Am hoping to kick this sometime in my life!

  • Kathleen January 22, 2010, 11:21 am

    I definitely have engaged in emotional eating, and I agree that sometimes it is ok to let go but you don’t want it to become a habit! I am trying to get past emotional eating by focusing on writing to allow me to outlet my emotions rather than through eating…but I think different things work for different people!

  • Stina @ Girl Can January 22, 2010, 11:23 am

    I’ve only skimmed the other comments, but I’m in agreement with most of the other poster. In my mind the problem comes in when you can no longer (or just don’t) distinguish and acknowledge what you’re doing as “emotional eating.” As long as you’re conscious of what’s going on, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  • Tina January 22, 2010, 11:25 am

    I do NOT think emotional eating is bad under certain circumstances. I think if you are hiding your eating, feel embarrassed by it, have guilt afterwards, etc then YES it is bad. Or if you have no other outlets. But I think if you recognize your emotions and confidently choose to let loose with some beer, food, chocolate and can keep yourself in control (ie not mindless shoving food in your mouth) then it is a reasonable outlet. Food is a part of social activity and helping people feel good. It’s part of life. And its understandable to turn to that for comfort and joy sometimes. Just not all the time. Great post!

  • Laura @ Strong and Steady January 22, 2010, 11:27 am

    I might have to be the dissenting voice and say that I think emotional *anything* is problematic. Of course, we all get emotional (especially me at this particular phase of the moon), but when those emotions start to influence my choices, it’s extra easy to get off track on everything – work, health, love, etc. BUT I would concur that the most important thing about having a night like last night is not to beat yourself up about it (that just causes more stress, right?)! Additionally, it’s totally necessary to let loose and relax regularly. If that means finishing a pitcher of beer, so be it 🙂 I just hold myself – not the mysterious force of my emotions – accountable for it.

  • MelissaNibbles January 22, 2010, 11:32 am

    I don’t think going out with your friends and enjoying yummy food is considered emotional eating. I think it’s totally normal and you shouldn’t feel any guilt girl! I’d be put off if you went out and brought celery sticks to eat ya know? That’s part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Emotional eating is only a problem (in my opinion) when it’s the only way you deal with stress in your life or you turn to food to make you feel better on a regular basis.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 22, 2010, 11:34 am

    I don’t usually emotionally eat … I have just never done it. I eat the most when I am celebrating something.

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. January 22, 2010, 11:43 am

    I think over eating is fine – once in a while. That’s why every human culture has holidays. Days dedicated to feasting and playing and having a good time. It’s not natural to work and stress all day every day, we are built to have these release days.

    There was a biodome in Arizona where they had a group of scientists live in a completely enclosed system. They had to produce all there own food. Even though they could produce just enough food, they still squirreled part of it away so they could have special meals and celebrations. The difference between their system and most American’s system is they had to eat less on the other days so they could have their feast day.

    When I want to over eat, I think of the biodome in the desert of Arizona. It’s a balance. I eat less today, so when the feast day comes around I can indulge.

    Is that kind of weird? Probably, but that’s how I rationalize over eating to myself.

  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) January 22, 2010, 11:52 am

    I think there’s an enormous difference between emotional eating and cutting loose (like you did last night.) Since you’ve gotten a grip on your emotional eating and rarely do it anymore, I think last night was definitely more of a special break for you. Besides, you didnt necessarily over-eat, you just chose some less healthy options. With all the healthy habits you have, this is not only well deserved, but necessary. I on the other hand am the poster child for emotional eating. A sleeve of girl scout cookies (mmmmm thin mints) could simply be an appetizer for me on a day when I’m bored, lonely, sad, etc. Huge problem.

    • Julie January 22, 2010, 12:26 pm

      Ditto. I am struggling with my emotional eating right now. I have come a long way (9 days w/o mindless snacking or bingeing! hah) and am still working on it every day. There is a difference between letting loose and having fun and eating to cope with your emotions. I honestly black out almost…like I tend to forget my binges after I’m done, but the guilt is there.

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 1:57 pm

      i’m really proud of you guys for overcoming or working toward overcoming these issues. 🙂

      for my personal self, i classify last night as an EE (sorry, i didn’t really explain this part well in the post) because i was like ‘f**k this, let’s go eat crappy food and drink a LOT of beer (i’m talking a pitcher!) and then i will feel better.’ to me, it was an EE (or reminded me of my EE days) because i was consciously choosing to use bad food to make me feel better. maybe thats not the definition of EE, but i know a lot of people focus on the emotions associated with an EE day, and the emotional part (while not similar) just reminded me of those days. i’m sure everyone experiences these issues differently, and it’s interesting to see how you guys view it, too. i love blog discussions.

      • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) January 22, 2010, 3:33 pm

        I was just thinking about your post on the walk home from class and sort of regretted my comments because EE is all relative. I didn’t mean to dismiss your night of eating as no big deal because I understand that it was a big deal to you. There are so many levels of EE and I guess thats the realization I made through this “conversation”. Have a great weekend!

        • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 3:44 pm

          i learn so much from other’s comments! thats one of my fav things about blogging. 🙂 thanks for sharing yourself with me, too.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) January 22, 2010, 11:56 am

    I think you have it right. If you just cut loose for one night and enjoy spending time with friends after a rough day, you can always bounce back. Being conscious of your emotional eating helps too.

    When I have a rough day, I grab a beer out of the fridge (or have my husband make me a margarita) and usually one drink does the trick for me. And I usually feel a little bit better afterwards. That being said, I used to really struggle with my emotional eating and it used to take 2-4 drinks to make me feel better. So I also think it depends on the person and their ability to know the difference between emotional eating and a serious binge.

    So sorry about your accident, Caitlin. I’m glad you are feeling a little better now!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) January 22, 2010, 12:00 pm

    When I eat emotionally it tends to be horrible. Now I go for a run or do something else to relieve the stress of emotions.

  • Rachel January 22, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I don’t think emotional eating is always “bad” in the sense that it can definitely quell negative emotions from a rough day. Is that healthy though? I’m not sure. I think most people engage in that kind of behavior.

  • Courtney R. January 22, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Totally agree. Emotional eating is only bad when you either dissociate completely and never deal with your problems or you do some sort of compensatory behavior such as purging or overexercising in response to the extreme guilt for doing it. There is a place for emotional eating in normal eating!!

  • Beth January 22, 2010, 12:22 pm

    Caitlin, I have to agreee that it is not always bad when it isn’t habitual. It is part of the moderation we all talk about. Yesterday, I had a 4.5 hour long meeting after a night of terrible sleep. When I got home, ny usual quinoa broccoli eatin’ self was like “Let’s go get a couple beers and some fries for dinner” and, like you, it did make me feel better. Why? Because my normal habits are to eat well and exercise, but sometimes treating yourself is SO worth it. If you start doing this more than taking care of yourself, it is time to check yourself before you wreck yourself 😉

    • ellie January 23, 2010, 8:31 am

      “check yourself before you wreck yourself” <– LOVE this!

  • Autumn Tao January 22, 2010, 12:29 pm

    I think what you did last night was NOT emotional eating. Emotional eating means there’s a lack of consciousness and understanding. Letting loose and indulging for one meal is part of makes life fun. It makes you feel like rebel, a crazy girl! Enjoy it, but don’t label it mama.

  • Ashley @ Good Taste. Healthy Me January 22, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Sometimes it’s just what you need. If it only happens rarely then why not!? And curly fries are sooo yummy! 😉

  • Courtney January 22, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And sometimes that is beer.
    I think stressing out about the eating or drinking is what causes the problems, not the food or drink (hence the tag “emotional eating”) So as long as you don’t get emotional about it…no problem.
    adventures in tri-ing

  • stacey January 22, 2010, 12:35 pm

    As someone who has dealt with disordered eating habits for the majority of my life, I have thought a lot about the emotions that I associate with food. The good news is that over the past 2.5 years, I have made excellent progress in having a healthy relationship with food. But, I am also highly senstive to the issue.

    I do still find comfort in a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream on a stressful day. I also enjoy a going out to dinner for a good meal or cooking some extra special at home as a means of celebrating. But, I think that the difference between doing these types of things now, as opposed to before when I did not have a healthy relationship with food, is the intention behind it.

    I am no longer trying to “numb” myself with food. It’s not about looking to control anything by what I put in my mouth. On a stressful day when I have a glass of wine, I am just trying to give myself a break for my normal day-to-day mode of “go, go, go”. And, if I want to mark a special occasion with a special meal. That’s all I am doing. I like to eat good food and I like to make certain occasions special.

    The main point that I am trying to make is that emotional eating has a lot to do with the intention behind it. And, there are varying degrees of it.

    I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having a few beers and some curly fries to help brighten up a stressful day. But, I do think that using food as a means to push back or control your emotions is a huge issue.

  • maggie January 22, 2010, 12:40 pm

    I actually do emotionaly eat. My problem is I eat when I’m happy not when I’m sad. But I think its normal to an extent…animals do it too. I think as long as we keep it in check and know our true feelings behind that craving and work them out then it will balence itself out!


  • Lee January 22, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I really don’t emotionally eat much. I’m much more guilty of eating when I’m bored. But the other day, the fiance and I were extremely stressed out about wedding stuff and had pizza and wine. It helped! (Plus, it was Kashi pizza, so really not bad)

  • Ami January 22, 2010, 12:48 pm

    I dont have problems with emotional eating anymore. My problem was always CARBS!! My body craves them, and when I start I cant stop.

    Emotional eating can be good. You’re happy you got an A no a difficult test so you celebrate with an ice cream! Nothing wrong with that. It’s when your emotional eating starts affecting you negatively on top of your already bad mentality that it becomes a problem. You overeat because you’re sad, then you beat yourself up over the guilt of having eating way too much. It’s a vicious cycle if you are not careful. I think the “all or nothing” mentality goes hand in hand with emotional eating a lot of times.

  • Kelly January 22, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I have never been an emotional eater. I tend to have the opposite problem. When I have had a bad day or get really overwhelmed I tend to not eat. Which is just as bad for you!

  • Kate January 22, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I’m so sorry about your accident! I hope the insurance/car repair or replacement goes smoothly.

    I’m in therapy to help with my emotional overeating (binge eating). While I don’t want to be emotionally overeating every day–I think occasionally overeating can be ok. As long as you sit down and realize what you are doing and why, there is an aspect of consciousness to the act of overeating. Then this morning you did the most important part: You didn’t feel guilty about what you ate the night before and you started eating healthy right away.

    I hope once I’m recovery I can approach emotional eating the same way.

  • Raya January 22, 2010, 1:01 pm

    So sorry about your accident but glad you’re ok! Emotional eating is not always bad…everything in moderation! Plus if you’re aware of it, that’s half the battle right there anyways. If you wanna eat curly fries for dinner, go ahead! “I do what I want!” Haha 🙂

  • Allison January 22, 2010, 1:05 pm

    Clearly, you needed a night to cut loose and that’s what you got!

  • Katie @ Health for the Whole Self January 22, 2010, 1:05 pm

    I think we need to define what we mean exactly by “emotional eating.” If by “emotional eating” we mean eating for any reason other than physical hunger, then I agree that a little emotional eating every now and then isn’t a big deal…almost everyone does it at some point. We eat out of happiness, out of sadness, out of boredom – we eat for many reasons other than physical hunger.

    But if by “emotional eating” we mean eating as a coping strategy for managing intense or difficult emotions, then it’s a different story. As someone who struggled with disordered eating for many years, the phrase “emotional eating” connotes out-of-control binging meant to numb or distract myself from real life. It was not harmless or fun; rather, it left me alienated and unable to feel anything.

    I guess my point is, the phrase “emotional eating” is used a lot these days, but we don’t have a standard definition. So what it means to one person could be entirely different than what it means to another. Or they could mean the same thing, but in very different degrees.

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 1:58 pm

      also a very well said comment 🙂 thank you!

  • Christy January 22, 2010, 1:07 pm

    I think that’s a tough question. I think it’s ok sometimes but like you said, if you did it at every up & down of life, your health would be compromised. There’s no way to reach perfection so I think emotional eating is a fact of life but balancing is key — gotta find other ways to deal with emotions (exercising, dancing, lauging, hanging out with friends, blogging!, volunteering…) So many options!

  • Ellen Collis January 22, 2010, 1:11 pm

    I am the QUEEN of emotional eating. I’ve gotten better over time, but it’s still something I have to be very conscious of. And it is weird, I “treat” myself when I’m sad AND happy. Last week was great work-wise, and I was feeling so good by Friday that I just gave in to every last craving I had! I haven’t had a manicure in such a long time…next time I want to cheat because I’m feeling emotional, I just may get my nails done instead!


  • Runeatrepeat January 22, 2010, 1:17 pm

    I don’t think emotional eating is always bad. I have heard that instead of beating yourself up that you ate because of emotions you should give yourself credit for doing something to cope. You didn’t just lay down and die – sure, you ate a pint of ice cream, but you did what you had to do in that horrible moment.

    Realize that your body and mind were dealing with a rough situation. Don’t beat yourself up, be proud that you didn’t just give up. Instead you searched for a diversion for a little bit.

    It’s obviously complicated…

  • Kim January 22, 2010, 1:19 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with emotional eating from time to time. Being in recovery from anorexia, it has both confused and annoyed me that “emotional eating” is considered a sin or something. When I’m in a great mood, I want a lot of pizza and a bowl of ice cream. So what? Life is about pleasure and enjoyment, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging in what feels good. Of course, there is balance, but I’ve never had a problem with indulging too much (quite the opposite, actually).

  • Christina January 22, 2010, 1:39 pm

    I don’t think emotional eating is ALWAYS bad. Sometimes I just want to eat! As long as it doesn’t become a regular thing, I’m okay with it.

  • Deirdre January 22, 2010, 1:59 pm

    First, I am so sorry to hear about your car accident. I’m glad you are okay.

    I think emotional eating can be bad or okay depending on the person and the amount of food. There are people who can emotional eat one day and then not do it again for a long time. Then there are people who start emotional eating and do it all the time. If you are the latter then you probably should find a different form or release.
    Also, it depends on the amount of food. If someone’s emotional eating is just some fries and beer, I don’t think that’s bad at all. But if someone else’s emotional eating consists of what one would call binge eating like eating a whole large pizza and two tubs of ice cream then obviously its dangerous.

    I have struggled with emotional eating since I was a teenager. I remember being dumped by my high school boyfriend and for something like 2 months straight every Saturday I would eat 3 huge slices of pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Fortunately, this did not continue, but I will admit I do emotional eat from time to time. Its crazy because it was only as I got older that I realized what I was doing was emotional eating. Obviously, knowledge is power.

  • Megan January 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Good luck w/ the car sitch…i’m glad you’re okay!! I think emotional eating is fine as lnog as you save it for more severe emotional reactions. I also think that RECOGNIZING it as emotional eating and giving yourself permission occasionally is super helpful in preventing it from becomign an actual problem.

  • Retta @ RunRettaRun January 22, 2010, 2:23 pm

    First of all, so glad you are ok! How scary! Occasional emotional eating IS fine and so very human. I’ve been on the end of emotional eating where you eat w/ every emotion. Not so good. I still catch myself eat mindlessly when I’m upset or stressed.

  • Emily Eats and Exercises January 22, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I thought those girl scout cookies were intended to be eaten a sleeve at a time. 😉

  • Jaclyn January 22, 2010, 3:15 pm

    It’s all about balance, right?
    Sometimes we eat because of emotional reasons or because we are with our friends…I think it’s good to allow that freedom, as long as it does come in balance. :]

  • Karissa @ CardioFoodie January 22, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Sometimes emotionally we all just need to go enjoy a beer and food with good friends! If you are living a balanced life, going out for a fun night should fit right in!

  • Jen January 22, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I just want to say that you have really fantastic posts, offering a very balanced perspective on healthy eating. As a registered dietitian, I often see my patients struggle with finding a healthy balance.
    A good resource for emotional eating and body image is Geneen Roth (http://www.geneenroth.com/). Have you read any of her books? My favorite is “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair.”

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 3:55 pm

      i have not read any of her books, but i loveeee that title. 🙂

      thanks for reading.

  • Lisa January 22, 2010, 6:52 pm

    I agree with many of the above comments, in that I do feel that emotional eating is sometimes OK and quite normal. In addition, I have recovered from anorexia and I do feel that getting pleasure from food is a human and good thing to do. Not to bury other feelings, or to numb oneself, but actually as one of many different ways to enjoy life more.

  • K January 22, 2010, 6:52 pm

    I guess EE isn’t always bad. It is however for me because it eventually turned into to an eating disorder. You have to be very careful that it doesn’t get out of control. I wish I could say I turned around my EE like you did, good job! You’re an inspiration.

  • The Actors Diet January 23, 2010, 9:33 pm

    i binged for most of my life, and have finally stopped doing it for the last year. i don’t think it’s ALWAYS bad but not giving it the power to make me feel about myself anymore is the most important thing. i definitely have overeaten, but i don’t think it was done out of emotion.

  • The Paris Food Blague January 24, 2010, 6:40 pm

    what a great post…as are all the comments.

  • Ruth January 25, 2010, 11:44 am

    I think that emotional eating is all about frequency. You don’t get in car accidents very often, so indulging in a little feel-good munching then won’t damage your health. Celebrating with food because it’s Friday or destressing after a hectic day are probably unwise instances of emotional eating because these things happen often and the calories add up!

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