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Emotional Eating: Why we do it and how to stop. Anna Grigorian, M.S. David Vest, B.A. Mood & Food Statistics. Major life events- from work stress to divorce- can trigger emotions that lead to overeating. 62% of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels.

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emotional eating why we do it and how to stop

Emotional Eating:Why we do it and how to stop

Anna Grigorian, M.S.

David Vest, B.A.

mood food statistics
Mood & Food Statistics
  • Major life events- from work stress to divorce- can trigger emotions that lead to overeating.
    • 62% of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels.
    • 73% of Americans name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level.
  • Stress has not only been linked with increased food consumption in certain individuals but has also been reported to shift their food choices from lower fat to higher fat foods
  • Binge-eating is a pattern of disordered eating during which a person periodically is unable to exercise control over the consumption of food, usually in response to a stressful situation.
  • Between 2% and 5% of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period
  • Approximately 35% of people with binge-eating disorder are male.
food as a source of security
Food as a source of security
  • Erikson’s 1st Stage
    • Conflict: Trust vs. Mistrust
      • Task: To develop a sense that the world is “safe” & “good”
    • Psychological Theme: Dependency on others to meet needs
      • Mother (food) is main source of meeting needs = security
    • Effects on Adulthood: Food represents comfort.
food as a source of security5
Food as a source of security
  • Freud’s Oral Stage
    • Physical Focus: Mouth/sucking (food) = pleasure
    • Psychological Theme: Dependency on others to meet needs
      • If needs not fulfilled or over-fulfilled person becomes fixated in this stage
    • Adulthood Tendencies : Dependency and passive character or complete independence and a demanding character. Preoccupation with oral activities. Predisposed to overeating.
security and attachment
Security and Attachment
  • Attachment …
    • is the “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969)
    • serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child's chances of survival
  • Security (via transitional object)
    • A security object can give a child both emotional and tangible comfort, especially during times of stress
slide7
Food & CultureFood in time of celebration and food in time of sorrow: A lifetime of eating emotionally
slide11
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John and Jacqueline Kennedy wedding

research
Research
  • Current research is aimed at establishing general links in to how emotional eating effects people and why it develops into pathology for some and not others
  • Recent research has discovered links between bulimic tendency and emotional eating
  • Emotional eating is cognitive, behavioral, and affective with emerging research suggesting that it is also cultural
self help do s
Self-Help Do’s
  • Do learn to recognize true hunger
    • Keep a log to track your triggers
  • Do look elsewhere for comfort
    • Try an enjoyable activity- knitting, running, drawing, etc.
    • Try a relaxation exercise when you’re stressed
  • Do snack healthy
    • Don’t keep high calorie/sugary foods around
    • Do eat a balanced diet
  • Do practice mindfulness
mindfulness a closer look
Mindfulness:A Closer Look
  • Drawn from Buddhist meditative tradition
  • Therapy is generated internally with the client
  • Thoughts are like leaves floating down a river
    • The client has the ability to look at each thought WITHOUT emotional charge or whether it is rational or irrational
    • Clients can pick and choose which thought to analyze and do so objectively not subjectively
    • Clients are encouraged to sit with each thought, analyzing it as much as possible so that the thought is understood and can appear with more or less frequency while understanding that thoughts are constantly moving and nothing more than just a thought
outside help
Outside Help

Seek a…

  • M.D.
    • To rule out any medical problems
  • Nutritionist
    • To plan a healthy diet with balanced meals
  • Therapist
    • To help you process and address personal root-causes of overeating