Eating guided by emotions is part of our human eating experience. We all eat when we are happy and sharing a birthday or other celebration. Emotional eating can for some people feel problematic if eating for reasons other than hunger is happening so frequently that it’s not feeling positive in that individual’s life. This might mean eating because of feelings of stress, loneliness, boredom, or fatigue. Emotional eating may interfere with making healthy food choices and may make it difficult to obtain optimal nutrition or allow your body to be at it’s best weight. A best weight is a weight you can achieve while living the healthiest lifestyle you can truly enjoy.
What you need to know before choosing a Dietitian:
Dietitians may take additional training to provide help for clients who feel that using food to cope with emotions is a problem for them. Advanced certifications in this area may include mindful eating, intuitive eating, eating disorder training, or Craving Change®. Consider your relationship with food and your body and contact a Dietitian who aligns with your values (i.e. weight-inclusive approach, weight neutral, weight-loss focused, etc.)
What to expect when working with a Dietitian:
A Dietitian will help you find ways to understand if you are eating enough, often enough and how your emotions can impact how connected you are with your body (hunger/ fullness cues). You can work with a Dietitian to increase self awareness by identifying emotions and how they relate to food. Part of understanding emotions and food is also discovering how you can add other ways to nourish your feelings. Dietitians can help you understand how your emotions and food choices are linked and help you explore additional ways to cope with emotions while supporting you with healthy lifestyle habits.