• Dr. Howard Farkas

The Four Steps to Overcoming Emotional Eating

Up to this point, I’ve tried to lay the groundwork for presenting a new way of understanding emotional eating and how to overcome it. In previous posts I discussed the nature of emotional eating and how to recognize it; I explained the current and most widely accepted way of looking at the problem of self-control and self-regulation of behaviors like emotional eating, the research that supports it and some of the main problems with that theory; and I then presented an alternative way of understanding self-control, and specifically how it applies to emotional eating.

With that information providing the conceptual background, I’ll now try to explain in detail how these ideas can translate into a practical approach for overcoming emotional eating.

There are four practical steps to addressing this problem:

  1. Understand how certain types of stressors lead to emotional eating and how to identify them

  2. Challenge myths and beliefs about dieting, especially the demonization of any and all types of food

  3. Identify sources of the specific stressor(s) that are likely causing the behavior

  4. Address ways to reduce the stressor and/or its negative psychological impact

Even though I’ve talked about all of these ideas in previous posts, I’ll address each one separately and in detail with a focus on the practical approach to accomplishing each of the steps. I’ll begin by explaining the specific type of stressor that is associated with binge eating and the cause and effect connection between them.


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