Recognize and Remove Emotional Eating Triggers

Feb 28, 2024

Understanding the root cause of emotional eating is the first step towards overcoming it. Let's delve into the realm of emotional eating to better grasp the triggers and how to manage them.

 Why Do We Eat The Way We Do?

Various factors influence our eating habits, from the patterns we learned from our parents, to nutrition rules we follow or break, to our emotional state. Stress, people pleasing, and a history of deprivation and dieting also contribute significantly to our eating habits.

Types of Emotional Eating

Emotional eating can take various forms such as boredom eating, stress eating, overeating, and compulsive or binge eating. Each type has its own unique triggers and manifestations.

Boredom Eating

Boredom eating often stems from a lack of fun, fulfillment, creativity, or being on "auto-pilot" mode in life. It's a way to fill time and provide momentary excitement.

Stress Eating

Stress eating is the body's response to stress or anxiety. The part of our brain that turns stress on, turns digestion off, and vice versa. Chronic low-level stress can decrease calorie burning and create weight gain. Worry and anxiety generate a stress response, which can also lead to weight gain. Healing strategies include sleep, rest, meditation, quiet time, relaxed time, heart-centered time, love, compassion, and forgiveness.


Over-eating is often seen as a willpower problem, but it's more complex. It can stem from a lack of awareness, taste, aroma, pleasure, nourishment, or an eating experience. It can also be a fear of desires, food, hunger, pleasure, femininity, or being out of control. Over-eating can also be a substitute for pleasure, love, or a way to de-stress. Embracing appetite as normal and natural, and embracing feminine energy, desire, unknown, surrender, feeling feelings, food, and nourishment can help manage overeating.

Compulsive/Binge Eating

Compulsive or binge eating is characterized by uncontrolled eating at night or in the day, a driven, devouring style of eating, and feeling like it's "not you" - like a temporary possession. It can cultivate deep shame, and is usually triggered by a fear of food, body, or hunger. It can also be triggered by certain foods or a fear of the power inside of us.

Most people view binging as an out-of-control behavior which must be put into tight control. However, the real issue might be too much control in some area of life, a hunger for openness and surrender, a call for rhythm/balance, a hunger for relaxed pleasure, or a call for slowing down.


Understanding the root cause of emotional eating can empower you to make healthier decisions and develop better coping skills. Recognizing and managing your emotional eating triggers is an essential step towards living a healthier and happier life.