118: Emotional Eating

The Underlying Cause of Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating is common especially when you are stressed.  However, most people do not realize this leads to very serious health disorders.

Alarming Epidemic in America

American Psychological Association (APA) reports that majority of American adults are overweight or obese. Hence, the risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease is increased. Furthermore, the research reveals a connection between stress and emotional eating.

Bodies store more fat than when people are stressed.  In addition to that, cravings are usually for sweet and fatty foods.  As a result, people feel lazy or sluggish.

Thirty-eight percent of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.

Thirty-three percent of adults blame it on stress while twenty-seven percent say they eat to manage stress. On the other hand, thirty-four percent say this behavior is a habit.

Causes of Emotional Eating

Tricia Nelson, an emotional eating expert says, “Emotional eating is not only about overeating. It has a lot to do with the food you're drawn do as well.”  She adds, ” People know what excess food is doing to them. Unfortunately, people don't think about what it's doing for them.”

emotional eating

Doctors have identified that some common causes of emotional eating are:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Childhood Obesity
  3. Depression
  4. Fatigue

“People think emotional eating is about food and weight. But the emotional part has everything to do with it. We eat because we get stressed out. We get to that tipping point where we just can't take it anymore. And we reach for food,” Nelson explains. “That tipping point happens when we're filled with so much stress and anxiety that we bust out basically.” 

Tricia's Story

Tricia Nelson has been battling emotional eating since her early 20s. After years of experimentation with 12-step programs, therapy, and self-help books, Tricia finally hit a spiritual and emotional bottom. None of the diets seemed to work for her.

“I've been an emotional eater my entire life. Basically, I love food. Sugar, fat, and starch. Those were my food groups,” says Nelson. “I ended up going to therapy.”

Tricia attended Amherst College and began her career working at the Seattle Art Museum. While in Seattle she began working with a spiritual healer, Roy Nelson who would later become her husband. Roy helped her recognize and heal the root causes of her addictions.

By creating a positive lifestyle, Tricia was able to stop drinking and emotional eating. She has maintained a fifty-pound weight loss for close to 30 years now.

Ways to Curb Emotional Eating

When you look at holistic medicine, true health is emotional, mental and spiritual. If you have an imbalance in one you have an imbalance in all because it's all inter-connected.

WebMD comprises a team of medical doctors specializing in various fields.  Here are some of their recommendations to help you get your mind off emotional eating:

  1. Talk to a friend.
  2. Read a book or magazine, or listen to music.
  3. Go for a walk or jog.
  4. Meditate or do deep breathing exercises.
  5. Play a game.
  6. Do housework, laundry, or yard work.
  7. Write an email.

Doctors also suggest keeping a food diary. It is a good idea to jot down your food intake and the time of your meal. You can also add the thoughts or emotions you have at each meal or snack. You may find patterns. For instance, you might notice that you eat for social reasons, such as when other people encourage you to eat or to fit in with a group.

You may also want to work with a counselor in “talk therapy.” It's a good place to plan other ways to handle your emotions and how you relate to food.

Heal Your Hunger: 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now

Tricia's book is set to come out this April.  It will be available through Amazon.com, Goodreads, Booksamillion and other fine retailers.

“I caught the emotional eating personality. In the book, there's a chapter on the anatomy of an emotional eater. What is does is it explains a whole lot about personality traits that make up the emotional eater personality composite,” Nelson explains.

Nelson also says emotional eaters are a breed of their own, “Not all people are equal. And that's why I have the emotional eating quiz because there's a spectrum. Personally, I think we're all in the spectrum. We're all emotional eaters.”

emotional eating(1)

“Food is too tantalizing. Everybody falls prey into it. It's just a matter of where you fall in the spectrum of severity and severity of consequences,” Nelson says. “When you really do have the problem and you've been trying different things to overcome it, it's important to know that, if the things you tried haven't worked, it's because you're missing a vital information about the emotional eating personality.”

In the book, Tricia shares specific steps to help you get to the heart of why you overeat and how to stop. By identifying the underlying causes of emotional eating, Nelson says you can finally understand and heal your hunger.  Eventually, this will enable you to enjoy a life of total health and freedom.

For added reading, her husband Roy also has a book called Love Notes from Heal.  The book is about addictions and the addictive personality.

Tricia Nelson is an internationally acclaimed author, transformational speaker, and emotional eating expert. She has been featured on dozens of radio and television networks, including FOX, NBC, CBS, KTLA, and Discovery Health. 

Together with husband Roy, they spent the past three decades studying the addictive personality. Nelson shares her findings in workshops and retreats both in person and online. Many doctors, psychologists, and other health practitioners benefit from her insight about what drives people to overeat and how to stop.

Get connected with Tricia Nelson!



Official Website

Book by Tricia Nelson

Heal Your Hunger: 7 Simple Steps To End Emotional Eating Now

Recommended Reading by Tricia Nelson

Love Notes From Hell by Roy Nelson

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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