Is Food the REAL Trigger for Emotional Eaters?

Have you ever wondered WHY, even though you have clients that have every intention of eating in a healthy and conscious way, and it doesn’t happen, no matter how you try to help?

They make promises everyday to do it differently, swear off their ” trigger foods” and make solemn oaths to be ” good”-
…but they always end up back in the same place?

Problematic Eating is a term that describes any situation whereby a person is compromised due to an inability to eat in a way that does not cause stress physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Usually this involves a concern that is above average with weight and shape, or an overall concern about how one looks.

A person with Problematic Eating will experience emotional, environmental, cognitive and/or interpersonal triggers that will lead them to act out in behaviours that are destructive around food. Emotional eating, eating in response to feelings rather than hunger, is one factor that may exist. Eating compulsively, in a way that feels ” out of control” may also be present, whereby a person is consuming food past the point of being full. Binge eating and restricting may or may not be present at various levels.

As a Problematic Eater, it is common to feel like there is no “off “button. They struggle with the ability to use food as its true purpose rather than a tool to mask what is really going on.

Those who do not suffer from Problematic Eating are able to use food as nourishment, and as a tool for self care. Eaters who eat ” normally” are able to choose foods they want and they eat to live rather than live to eat. Essentially, ” normal eaters” do not have distorted thinking around food.

How to know if Problematic Eating might be affecting your client ? They will answer YES to more than 2 of the following…

  • You think “today is the day” I will start eating mindfully and in a healthy way..but you can’t get started or you sabotage before the day is done.
  • You are often saying ” tomorrow it will be different” but nothing seems to change
  • You turn to food to deal with emotions
  • You eat unconsciously and wish you hadn’t once its over
  • You have a very critical inner voice that judges you for eating or not eating the “right” food
  • You have an eating disorder- or not
  • You have tried every diet out there, and nothing works permanently
  • You are sick and tired of being on the roller coaster- but you are always on it
  • You must loose weight and you want to do it in a healthy way but can’t
  • You think and/ or obsess about food a lot of the time
  • You cannot seem to loose the weight you need to regardless of what ” diet” you have tried
  • You are always trying to loose weight but it never lasts…

If any of these bullet points sounds all to familiar to your client…or even 1 of these …its time for them to let go of the diet mentality once and for all and begin a journey of REAL RECOVERY with food, shape and weight.

Making a decision to go to any lengths to overcome Problematic Eating means letting go of the “diet mentality” for good. This means that as a coach we must understand that food is NOT the problem..nor is it the solution.

Let me repeat that.

Food is NOT the Problem with Problematic Eaters..Nor is it the Solution.

It means they are stepping off the roller coaster of control and stepping into real life- real intimacy and real connection with themselves and others around them.

When your clients make the decision that they want more to life than a number on a scale- that they want to know and love themselves deeply, that they deserve that…only then can they truly let go of the craziness with food.

I did a survey on Facebook this week and found that most coaches try to solve the "cravings dilemma" with clients using food….In other words, many people in our industry still believe that FOOD is the enemy, and therefore our clients suffering from Problematic Eating are getting a "food solution" to a Psychological Problem. 

Tune in below as I share LIVE on why I do not believe cravings are connected to food for a Problematic Eater …


I would love to hear your thoughts on this juicy topic below coaches! What are you noticing with Problematic eaters suffering from cravings in your own practice?

I will be sharing about the 4 major cravings and how to deal with them when working with Problematic eaters on a webinar in just 2 weeks! Stay tuned for more details on that !

In Unity and Freedom,

Shelley :)

Wellnessfranki durbin