What Triggers Emotional Eating?

When discussing emotional eating, it's important to pay attention to what can trigger a person to turn to food for comfort to alleviate uncomfortable feelings. Unless we're aware of our own personal triggers, we won't be able to combat emotional eating. Below is a list of things that can trigger inside each of us the desire to eat (when we're not hungry, or to make poor food choices) in order to avoid certain feelings:

  • Loneliness

  • Boredom

  • Grief/Loss of a loved one or friend

  • Argument/Conflict with a loved one or friend

  • Financial Struggles

  • Job loss/Job Difficulties

  • Health Issues

  • Shame (an internal critic "beating us up" for choices we make or actions we do)

  • Feeling Overwhelmed/Overworked

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Marital/Relationship Difficulties

  • Stress

  • Happiness/Joy (having a reason to celebrate and making poor choices because "I deserve this")

  • Emotional Rejection


This list is by no means complete - there are several more things that could be added to it! Not everything on this list applies to each of us, however, does anything on this list speak to you and your need to emotional eat? We encourage you to speak to a trusted friend/pastor/counselor if you do relate to this weeks blog. Please check back in as we still have yet to discuss the difference between physical hunger & emotional hunger, the effects of emotional eating, and how to combat emotional eating. Thank you for reading!

Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.