Success Call: Emotional Eating

Emotional eating…the requested topic I was pondering for our Success Call (a weekly dose of tips, encouragement and truth to help you develop true health hosted LIVE Tuesdays at 9pm on Facebook here)…As I stuffed a handful of goldfish in my mouth that afternoon, I knew we had to cover this topic. It’s real, right??

First, let’s define emotional eating:

eating in response to emotions instead of hunger. Emotional eating is a way to soothe or suppress a [negative] emotion such as worry, fear, boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness, or stress.

While this is the accepted definition, I would actually say that emotional eating is eating in response to any emotion. There is an underlying link between the emotion and food that we have to recognize is there even with over-eating during a positive emotional occasion.

KEY: How are we using eating or food in this situation–using food to attempt to control, cope, or monitor feelings or thoughts.

WHAT triggers emotional eating? I have found 4 main areas:

  • Daily struggle
  • Major life event
  • Change
  • Anything depending upon the person! <–yes, truly it can be anything that has shaped you individually into a habit of turning to food.

We have to learn how to deal with these negative emotions instead of just turning to food.

THE RUB-God made us emotional creatures! This isn’t a flaw. He himself is an emotional God. However, that doesn’t mean that He is ruled by His emotions, and neither should we be.

1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

[note context-Paul teaching on FOOD sacrificed to idols…all things are lawful, but not all are beneficial]

THE REALITY: God made our bodies, and as believers they are not our own.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Here are 6 Tips to Stop Emotional Eat

ing (and over-eating)

1. STOP. Literally “halt” the process

-Wear a rubber band and snap it to physically get your own attention.

Tell yourself out loud to stop. And replace that thought with the directive affirmation needed to move you in the right direction

2. ASK the Lord for help to renew your mind

WORRY- 1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

FEAR- Psalm 34:4, I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

BOREDOM- Proverbs 19:15, Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

LONELINESS- John 15:4, Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me

ANGER- Ephesians 4:31-32, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…

STRESS- Matthew 11:28-30, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

3. GIVE your body back to God (this is an act of the WILL)

Romans 12:1-2 “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship”

4. LEARN some coping skills to handle difficult feelings

    1. Face the facts
    2. Breathe
    3. Trust God
    4. Repair broken relationships
    5. Take something off your plate/reduce stress
    6. Feed your body well (avoid blood sugar crashes)
    7. Stay hydrated
    8. Get enough sleep
    9. Everything I’m about to say…

5. PRAY before eating and give thanks for what God has created good for your body.

6. FIND other ways to feel good, not just by eating.

Psalm 37:3-5, “Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD*; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it…”

*emphasis added


-What makes you feel good?

What brings you joy?

Examples: Connecting with family/friends, Working out-endorphins!, Have a dance party!


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