What You Need to Know About Emotional Eating

What You Need to Know About Emotional Eating

Are you an emotional eater?

One way to know for sure is with the EADES or “Eating and Appraisal Due to Emotions and Stress” questionnaire developed by Amy Ozier of Northern Illinois University.

Created in 2007, it’s been used and refined by other researchers over the years from around the world. Based on simple questions, the questionnaire asks how you cope with stress and other problems, whether you use food to ease times of stress or as a reward in celebratory moments, and how much control you have over your eating in general. All of these questions hope to pinpoint a person’s eating habits, and if they typically lead to weight gain.


Here are some of the emotions that can influence eating:

  • Stress
  • Sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling down on yourself
  • Anger
  • Not feeling that you’re in control of your own life

Other causes of emotional eating can include not having a support network of friends and family, and feeling incapable of dealing with problems individually.

Related: Is Your Child an Emotional Eater?

If you overeat when you’re stressed, or keep eating after you feel full, or reach for food when you’re tired, angry, or sad, these are common signs that your eating habits aren’t driven by hunger alone. You can keep track with a food journal, recording how you feel every time you eat something; this is the simplest way of detecting an eating pattern, and to what extent your eating is affected by emotions.

Concluding your emotions seem to always lead to the fridge, your new weight loss strategy will need to include more than simply cutting calories. You’ll need to focus on changing those eating patterns, which can be difficult without guidance; consider working with a dietitian or a behavioral therapist. Together, you can identify what triggers your emotional eating and develop non-food ideas for managing stress.

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