Emotional Eating Myths | The Balanced Practice Inc

You Cannot Diet Your Way Out of Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating Myths | The Balanced Practice Inc

Emotional eating is a normal human behaviour. Unfortunately, emotional eating has been villainized by diet culture. We are taught that emotional eating is due to personal failure and lack of discipline…and for many, this leads to dieting to regain a sense of control. However, as we know (and as you probably have experienced) dieting only exacerbates the feelings of losing control and is ultimately harmful to your relationship with food and your body.

At The Balanced Practice, we believe that emotional eating is normal. Starting from a young age, food is associated with a multitude of emotions (not just the “negative” emotions) and eating is an emotionally loaded experience. Think of how we use food as a way to celebrate, form bonds with others, and connect to family and cultural traditions.

Emotional Eating | The Balanced Practice Inc

It is absolutely ok to eat emotionally…

Emotional Eating | The Balanced Practice Inc

There are times where emotional eating can become maladaptive and potentially create more friction in your life.  Emotional eating can become problematic under 2 conditions:

  1. It is the only coping mechanism that you rely on (and therefore food is the only thing that can meet your emotional needs)
  2. It causes psychological distress and leads to guilt and shame (which then takes away from the potential benefit we may get from emotional eating)

In these 2 instances, we start exploring. We do not shame or judge ourselves for how food has been playing a role in our life, but instead we seek to understand.

At The Balanced Practice, we use a shame-free approach to support you in understanding your emotional eating patterns. We believe that we can repair our relationship with emotional eating, food, and our body.

Emotional eating is ok | The Balanced Practice Inc

Myths about emotional eating

Emotional eating is ok | The Balanced Practice Inc
  • People emotionally eat due to lack of control (TRUTH: emotional eating has very little to do with control, it is an effective way we have found to meet emotional needs)
  • Emotional eating is bad (TRUTH: It is not bad; it is absolutely normal)
  • To stop emotional eating, you must follow a nutrition plan/diet  (TRUTH: research shows that the biggest predictor to emotional eating is … *drumroll*… dieting! So no, don’t go on another diet!)
  • Removing foods from your house is the key to recovery  (TRUTH:  nope, access to food is NOT the issue. Putting food out of reach is not a long-term solution)

Our providers at The Balanced Practice are here to support you in developing a healthy relationship with food while learning how to meet your emotional needs too.

Interested in working with a TBP provider on emotional eating?
Call The Balanced Practice at (613) 695-0306 to set up an appointment today!

If you prefer to learn at your own pace and have the tools to support you, The Balanced Practice offers a course on emotional eating. Register here.