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Check Out How Your Emotions and Eating Are Connected

Posted Dec 11 2012 7:42am

If you eat too much food or eat too many calorie-rich foods and are overweight as a result, do you know why you eat the way you do?

Please think carefully before you answer. See which of these reasons apply.*

1. to diminish anxiety

2. to get pleasure

3. to achieve social success and acceptance

4. to relieve frustration or deprivation

5. to express hostility (conscious or unconscious)

6. for self-indulgence

7. to reward yourself

8. to express defiance

9. in order to submit (e.g., to authority)

10. to punish yourself

11. for exhibitionism

12. for getting attention and care

13. to justify failure in life

14. to test love

15. to counteract a feeling of being unloved

16. to distort reality

17. to identify with an overweight relative or friend

18. to sedate yourself

19. to avoid competition in life

20. to avoid changing the status quo

21. to prove one's inferiority

22. to avoid maturity

23. to diminish fear of starvation

24. to fulfill the wish to become fat

25. to handle anxiety  

26. as a diversion from monotony

27. to diminish feelings of insecurity

28. to handle your mood

29. to distract yourself from life’s problems

30. out of guilt

Did you think of any other emotional reasons you might eat too much food and eat too many calorie-rich foods? If so, make sure to note them.

Remember, using psychology to lose weight means identifying and then working on the emotional reasons for overeating and weight gain and other patterns of eating leading to weight gain, such as night eating, binge eating, and eating too many calorie-rich foods.


*parts of list taken from Kaplan, H. & Kaplan, H. (1957) The Psychosomatic Concept of Obesity. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 125, 181-101.


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