Kari Dahlgren

Coach | Author | Advocate

feel normal around food again

The Psychology of Overeating: 9 Psychological Reasons for Compulsive Eating & How to Stop

the psychology behind overeating: 10 psychological reasons for overeating rooted in thoughts, feelings, & beliefs

Have you ever wondered why we mindlessly reach for snacks or sugar — even without hunger? The psychological reasons for overeating are complex, fascinating, and deeply human. As both an eating psychology coach and someone living in recovery from compulsive eating, I’ve experienced firsthand how our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can influence our eating habits.

When it comes to strategies for managing our food intake, diets seldom work long-term, as evidenced by rigorous studies published in reputable journals like Frontiers in Nutrition[1], Appetite[2], and PLoS (Public Library of Science) One[3]. Instead of fixating on what we eat, it’s time we delved deeper into why we eat. By shedding light on the psychology of overeating, we can begin to understand the deeper emotional needs that food often represents, opening the door to more fulfilling ways of meeting those needs.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the science behind some of the most common psychological reasons for overeating. Drawing from my personal journey and professional expertise, I’ll share insights that illuminate the heart of the issue. Together, we’ll explore evidence-based, psychology-focused strategies for breaking free from compulsive overeating.

The Psychology of Overeating Explained

Before we delve into the psychological reasons for overeating, it’s crucial to understand the most prevalent one: emotional eating. This involves using food as a coping mechanism to manage difficult emotions, rather than confronting them directly.

Emotional eating can be triggered by a range of feelings from anxiety and depression to boredom and even happiness, as individuals eat in response to celebration and joy.[4] It’s often negative emotions, however, that more frequently prompt emotional eating. When someone has a low tolerance for negative emotion, they are more likely to turn to food for solace.[5]

This reliance on food as a coping mechanism can lead to feelings of guilt and frustration, especially when it results in overeating. At this point, many people are quick to judge themselves as lacking willpower because they struggle with overeating.

In reality, willpower is simply misdirected, squandered on restrictive diets instead of tackling the underlying psychological factors behind overeating.

Diets often divert attention away from eating psychology because reducing calorie intake triggers biological pushback, leading to heightened hunger and cravings for high-calorie foods.[6] This can create the illusion of weak willpower, when in fact, it’s the body’s biological response to deprivation. Ultimately, without adequate nourishment, no amount of psychological adjustment can override the body’s drive to eat in the presence of physical hunger.

But what if you do eat enough to sustain your body in a healthy way? This is where the psychology of overeating can help you gain traction on your health and wellness journey. Once the biological need for sustenance is satisfied, the next layer to unravel is your psychology: the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that motivate your actions.

Understanding the Psychological Reasons for Overeating

Exploring the various psychological reasons for overeating can provide you with a deeper understanding of your own behaviors and motivations around food. By gaining insights into the underlying factors that contribute to overeating habits, you can pave the way for long-term behavior change.

Here are some of the most common psychological reasons for overeating:

1. Limiting Beliefs Can Fuel Overeating & Self-Sabotage

In my experience, one of the biggest psychological reasons for overeating is somehow getting a greater benefit from struggling with overeating than being without the problem. At first glance, this might seem absurd — how can overeating possibly offer any benefit? Yet, when we dive deeper and peel back the layers, you may discover that overeating serves as a maladaptive form of protection.

For example, take the concept of people-pleasing. Individuals who focus on pleasing others may find that their overeating is linked to preserving certain social dynamics.[7] If weight loss were to disrupt these dynamics — like causing friends with similar weight challenges to distance themselves — the resulting cognitive dissonance can be unsettling. The internal conflict between the desire for social connection and the goal of weight loss may lead to a paradoxical situation where overeating feels more beneficial than stopping overeating.

Hopefully you can already see the power behind the psychology of overeating. Without recognizing the benefits of overeating — as misguided as they can be — breaking free from self-sabotage becomes a challenge. My bestselling digital workbook, Why We Do the Things We Do, is designed to help you uncover and address these limiting beliefs, that way you can curb self-sabotaging behavior.

2. Emotional Hunger Can Be Confused with Physical Hunger

Physical hunger is the body’s biological signal for energy replenishment. It typically develops gradually and causes physical sensations such as an empty feeling in the stomach or light-headedness. 

Emotional hunger is driven by emotions rather than the body’s need for sustenance. It can emerge suddenly and intensely in response to strong emotions, whether negative or positive.[8] When someone eats in response to emotional hunger, or eats beyond the limits of physical hunger, it can perpetuate overeating.

This psychological reason for overeating can become even more complicated for anyone with a long history of dieting. Dieting often requires denial of physical hunger, which can diminish the ability to identify what physical hunger feels like.

3. Psychological Stress Causes Overeating for Various Reasons

Stress exerts a complex influence on overeating, affecting our eating habits through a combination of psychological and biological factors. First, let’s look at how stress influences our eating behavior through its impact on hormones.

  • Cortisol: One of the primary ways stress contributes to overeating is through the release of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” Cortisol is linked to an increased appetite and a preference for high-calorie “comfort foods.”[9]
  • Ghrelin: Stress can also influence the hormone ghrelin, which regulates hunger. Elevated stress can increase ghrelin levels, leading to heightened hunger and a greater likelihood of overeating.[10]
  • Insulin: Stress also impacts insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. Elevated cortisol can eventually lead to insulin resistance, where the body’s cells don’t respond effectively to insulin.[11] This can result in increased cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and potential overeating on such foods.

As we dive deeper into eating psychology, we also find that the act of counting calories — a technique often used to manage overeating — can be a source of stress, counteracting the desired goal.[12] This stress response is one of the reasons why many people struggle to lose weight on calorie-counting programs like Weight Watchers or Noom.

4. Food Rules Trigger Overeating Through Reverse Psychology

Psychologically, restriction triggers feelings of deprivation, which can increase preoccupation with food and overeating. Studies have shown that, when we restrict certain foods, we think about them even more.[13] Furthermore, research also shows that psychological deprivation can occur regardless of caloric intake.[14] Even if you are not formally dieting but aim to limit certain foods, it can trigger the restrict-binge cycle.

For instance, one study found that chocolate-lovers who placed chocolate off-limits found themselves craving it more than before — even if they weren’t in an energy deficit (restricting calories).[15] If you feel like you’re always thinking about food, take a moment to reflect on which foods enter your mind more frequently: foods that are allowed or foods that are off-limits.

5. Sugar Addiction Is Better Explained Through Eating Psychology

Sugar addiction is a controversial topic, especially in regard to the psychology of overeating. On one hand, some studies argue that sugar possesses addictive qualities stronger than drug addiction.[16] Other studies, however, “find little evidence to support sugar addiction in humans.”[17] Let’s explore both sides of the argument.

Proponents of sugar addiction argue that sugar triggers a release of dopamine in the brain similar to addictive substances, which reinforces the desire to seek out more sugar. On the other side of the argument, most studies conducted on sugar addiction were conducted in rats.

To further complicate matters, most sugar addiction studies gave rats intermittent access to sugar, which does not control for the psychological effect of anticipated food deprivation.

Plenty of evidence shows that people tend to overeat before the start of a restrictive diet (e.g. binge eating on Sunday night before starting fresh Monday morning).[18], [19] This is commonly known as “last supper eating” and it’s a strong psychological trigger behind overeating.

In my workbook, Stopping Sugar Addiction the Psycho-Spiritual Way, I unpack the psychology behind sugar cravings. I find it important to acknowledge the addictive qualities of sugar without getting hung up there. The reward circuit in the brain is not to be ignored, but it’s far more empowering to focus on what you can control versus what you can’t. 

Intrigued by a psycho-spiritual approach to eating? Unpacking the psychology of eating is an inner journey, and to some it can even be a spiritual journey. See what I mean by downloading my free, 13-page ebook, The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Stop Binge Eating.

6. The Fear Wasting Food Is One of the Biggest Psychological Reasons for Overeating

The fear of wasting food can be a significant psychological trigger for overeating. Some people feel a deep sense of guilt for even leaving one bite of food behind, which can cause patterns of “plate-cleaning” and overeating.[20] To exacerbate the problem, restaurants usually serve large portions, which can lead to frequent overeating while dining out.

The fear of wasting food also extends beyond present circumstances and into childhood experiences and conditioning. Perhaps you were told to finish your plate before you could be excused from the table. Similarly, child-care providers often praise children for cleaning their plates in an attempt to make parents happy, even though children are capable of self-regulating their energy intake.[21]

7. Eating Too Fast Can Lead to Overeating

When we eat too fast, we often don’t have enough time to register feelings of fullness, which can lead to overeating.[22] While this is a biological mechanism behind a tendency to eat past fullness, there’s also a psychological component to this overeating pattern as well.

According to Geneen Roth, renowned author in the field of emotional eating, “The way we do one thing is the way we do everything.” If you struggle with eating too fast, it’s possible that your life is also fast-paced, and this can spill over into your relationship with food.

Consider the lifestyle of many professionals in high-pressure environments. The demands of their work often require rapid decision-making, multitasking, and constant engagement. This relentless pace can inadvertently carry over to their eating habits, leading to rushed meals where they barely register what or how much they’re consuming.

In this scenario, advice to “just eat slower” is as unhelpful as advice to “just stop overeating.” Eating patterns must be addressed holistically with an approach that honors both biological and psychological needs.

8. A Lack of Satisfaction Can Trigger Overeating

One psychological cause of overeating is the missing element of satisfaction, which is often overlooked due to diet culture. When we diet, we tend to focus solely on what we “should” and “shouldn’t” eat, neglecting whether our food choices genuinely satisfy us.

This oversight can lead to feelings of deprivation and a lack of satisfaction after eating, creating fertile ground for overeating. When we don’t feel satisfied, we’re more likely to seek out additional food in an attempt to fill that void, even if we’re not physically hungry.

Imagine craving a warm slice of pizza for dinner but choosing a salad instead, even though it’s not what you want. While the salad may fill you up physically, it won’t satisfy your craving, leaving you with a persistent desire for more food. In an effort to avoid the pizza, you might find yourself snacking on one small item after another. However, this often leads to eventually giving in and eating the pizza you wanted in the first place, perpetuating the restrict-binge cycle.

9. Poor Environment Design Can Lead to Mindless Eating

If you’ve ever struggled with the internal tug-of-war over tempting office snacks, you’re not alone. One study found that office desk candy kept in a clear dish, as opposed to an opaque dish, is more likely to be eaten due to the constant visual reminder.[23] Another study found that placing office candy farther away led to reduced consumption.[24] These studies illustrate that visual cues and proximity are noteworthy psychological reasons for overeating.

For some people, keeping food out of sight will indeed keep them out of mind and reduce overeating tendencies. However, if this doesn’t work for you, it does not necessarily mean that you lack willpower. In the presence of other psychological triggers for overeating, such as stress eating or food rules that cause feelings of deprivation, environmental design is minor. Keeping your unique challenges in perspective can help promote more self-compassion, which is key for healing your relationship with food.[25]

The Psychology of Overeating Is Best Explained by Someone Who’s Been There

Can you relate to any of these psychological triggers? I’ll share some practical strategies for addressing the psychology of overeating shortly, but first I need to set the record straight about some unfortunate advice on this particular topic from Psychology Today.

In one of their articles on the psychology of overeating, the author states, “From speaking to adults and children, I came up with 40 rationalizations for why individuals justify their overeating. They include ‘watching what I eat is too hard,’ ‘it’s low-fat/fat-free,’ ‘I will make up for it later,’ ‘I’ll burn it off later,’ ‘I don’t usually eat this,’ ‘it’s free,’ ‘everyone else is eating it,’… ‘healthy food doesn’t taste as good’…” The list goes on (last accessed January 17, 2024).

I was shocked when I read this article, which was written by a psychologist. That quote is unrelatable at best and offensive at worst. The author accuses overeaters of using rationalizations to “justify” overeating behavior — as if overeating is something that we want to be doing.

While many psychologists are compassionate, that article was not written from a point of compassion. It was written from a place of disconnection and a lack of empathy. After nearly a decade of experience as an eating psychology coach, no one has ever shared rationalizations like that with me.

In fact, the problems I see most frequently are people trying too hard to “eat perfectly” and restricting their diets too much. Then, the restriction causes unintended biological and psychological backlash in the form of compulsive eating.

From what I have seen, overeaters don’t think that watching what they eat is too hard; they arguably care about it too much, to the point of preoccupation and obsession with food.

They don’t focus on low-fat/fat-free; they are petrified of carbs and yet they crave carbs so much that they overeat.

They don’t struggle with not “making up for it later,” they might actually overwork as a coping mechanism, leaving them too exhausted for even basic self-care.

From what I have seen in my line of work, we almost know too much about what good food and exercise entails, and it motivates us to push our bodies too far and focus all our energy on diets that don’t work instead of the psychology behind overeating.

Perhaps that psychologist only came to her conclusion because many compulsive eaters struggle with shame. When talking about something as personal and vulnerable as overeating, we might “armor up” to protect ourselves from judgment by sharing “rationalizations” to deflect our tender insecurities.

In short, I strongly disagree that most overeaters “rationalize” their eating habits. Most overeaters berate themselves and are their own worst critic when it comes to eating past fullness. To help with this, let’s look at steps to stop overeating rooted in self-compassion.

How to Overcome the Psychological Triggers for Overeating

With self-compassion as our foundation — coming from someone that has been there in the trenches of compulsive eating — let’s explore practical steps to navigate and overcome the psychological reasons for overeating.

Here are some evidence-based steps you can take to address the psychology behind overeating and develop a healthier and more balanced relationship with food:

  • Address limiting beliefs: Cognitive dissonance occurs when our beliefs don’t match our behaviors, leading to self-sabotage. My workbook, Why We Do the Things We Do, is designed to help you uncover and challenge these limiting beliefs — specifically on the topics of food, weight, and body image — to directly address the psychology behind overeating.
  • Utilize tools for emotional eating: Emotional self-regulation skills are associated with reduced overeating tendencies. [26] To enhance emotion-regulation, you need to practice it. Start by employing tools like my Stop, Drop, & Feel®️ technique, which encourages you to drop into your emotions in the precise moment that you want to overeat. This requires sitting still with emotional discomfort, which leads to the next step.
  • Foster emotional tolerance: Perhaps the most noteworthy skill within emotional self-regulation is emotional tolerance, or distress tolerance, which refers to your ability to sit still with discomfort. People with higher distress tolerance are less likely to eat emotionally.[27] As you practice holding space for the uncomfortable emotions that bubble up during the Stop, Drop, & Feel, you increase your ability to tolerate them without feeling the urge to overeat.
  • Reduce stress: Stress is both a biological and psychological trigger for overeating.[28] Implementing stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or yoga can help alleviate this trigger, at least partially. Some individuals may need to take it a step further and reassess stressful occupations, which can be a big undertaking but helpful for both mental and physical well-being.
  • Stop counting calories: Learning how to stop calorie counting can reduce stress and feelings of deprivation that otherwise trigger the psychological causes of overeating.
  • Listen to your hunger and fullness cues: Instead of dieting, try to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Although this is oversimplified advice for overeating tendencies, the goal of this particular step is to satisfy the body’s biological need for sustenance so that you can focus the remainder of your willpower towards your psychology.
  • Harness food neutrality: Embracing the concept of food neutrality, where all foods are viewed as equal, can effectively utilize reverse psychology. When all foods are allowed, the allure of “forbidden foods” diminishes, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
  • Enjoy the food you eat: Eating pleasure has emerged as a facilitator for healthy eating, and Canada has even included enjoyment of food as a healthy eating recommendation.[29] If you love to eat, embrace it; and if you struggle with feeling judged for eating “forbidden foods,” remind yourself of the power of reverse psychology. Letting yourself eat foods that you enjoy can help promote satisfaction and reduce the tendency to overeat when meals are void of pleasure.
  • Work alongside a professional: Collaborating with a dietitian, therapist, or an eating psychology coach like myself can provide tailored guidance and support in addressing the psychological aspects of overeating.

Focus on strengths not weaknesses: If you’re intrigued by the psychology behind overeating, take my quiz to discover your eating psychology strength. Even if you feel like you only have weaknesses around food, I hope to illustrate your strengths so that you can build off them.

Addressing the Psychology of Overeating

Awareness is the first step towards change. Once you can identify the psychological blocks to overeating that hold you back, you can work on releasing them. On your unique journey, be sure to utilize plenty of psychology-based tools like the Stop, Drop, & Feel, giving yourself permission to eat the foods that genuinely appeal to you, and uncovering limiting beliefs that otherwise fuel self-sabotage around food.

I celebrate you for your curiosity and willingness to turn inward and work on your mindset — a powerful step beyond the cycle of yo-yo dieting. To learn more about my psychology-based approach to stopping compulsive eating, I highly recommend my free ebook and complimentary 5-day email course, which are all available below:

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Ready to dive even deeper into your journey of self-discovery? I proudly present my most celebrated workbook, Why We Do the Things We Do. This 75-page digital workbook reveals your unique psychological blocks to compulsive eating. By actually putting pen to paper, you’ll be surprised by what comes up.

Some say ‘feel it to heal it’ but this workbook takes it a step deeper and helps you ‘see it to heal it.’ If you’re the kind of person who logically knows how to live a healthy lifestyle but you compulsively do the opposite, this workbook will illuminate what’s standing in the way. Then, you know exactly where to focus your energy.

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26 thoughts on "The Psychology of Overeating: 9 Psychological Reasons for Compulsive Eating & How to Stop"

  1. Marysays:

    I am finding this post today, and it is making a lot of sense to me. I’ve never heard of you before, but I like how you write and explain things. It’s a Sunday morning, and I am reading anything I can find on the emotional reasons for overeating. Yesterday was extremely tough for me, with uncomfortable emotions swirling around – lots of self-doubt, self-recrimination, lack of self-love. Lots of tears of anguish. Today I know I have work to do, and I found your pages and I am understanding what I am reading. I will go on to read all of your posts. You are doing a good thing. Keep going. There are those of us who need it. It is helping. Thank you.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Oh my goodness Mary thank you so much for your comment! It means so much know that this helped you. These are the lessons that took me a long time to figure out, and I’m SO happy to hear that they’re what you needed to.

      I completely get your struggle, both with overeating and lack of self-love. It’s intimately connected with the reason why we compulsively and emotionally eat. Thank you for sharing part of your story with me. We are in this together!

  2. Dianesays:

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. It can be very difficult to stop dieting. I always seem to need some form of guideline to eat by. I can never keep it up for long though, then I binge. I’ve sort of resigned myself to that fact as I’ve been doing this for over 40 years.
    I know de o down that dieting isn’t the answer but I can’t seem to help myself sometimes.
    These suggestions you’ve given seem good, reasonable and sensible. I will give it a try and let you know how it goes. Diane

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      I completely understand you Diane. Thanks for the comment 🙂 I will be very interested to know how it goes for you! Please do keep me posted.

  3. Georgiasays:

    Hi Kari!
    I’ve recently started this whole psycho spiritual, intuitive eating thing for about a week. I’m having trouble determining whether my cravings for eating are my body actually telling myself to eat, or if they’re the urge to eat to emotionally numb myself or if its hedonic eating. How do you read your hunger cues?

    I’ve also read Geneen Roth’s book ‘When you eat at the refrigeraor pull up a chair’, and she talks about ‘fat and ugly attacks’. I’m wondering how you deal with this?


    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      The confusion around hunger is totally normal. I would actually encourage you to start focusing on emotion whenever you’re confused by your hunger. In time, you’ll get back in touch with the physical sensations of hunger, and focusing on emotion (right now) will help you untangle emotional hunger from hunger-hunger. (Also, hedonic eating is the same as emotional eating, except the main emotion is boredom or void.) As far as the ‘fat and ugly attacks’ I’m not exaaactly sure because I haven’t read that particular book : ) but the insecurities around body image tend to unwind as we unravel the food rules and find peace with ourselves. I hope this helps!!!

  4. Audreysays:

    This is very insightful and makes sense. I am going to practice it. Thankyou.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thanks Audrey!

  5. Joy Walkersays:

    I read your article in October 2019 and practiced it for the last 2 months. I was in tune with my desire to eat. It was definitely the effort to soften emotional pain. Since then I’ve gained an additional 10 lbs. it hurts to see the real you. I’m practicing self-love and willing to be uncomfortable. I’m determined to resolve the deeper problem. I can’t find your info on stop dieting, please share the link. Thank you for helping us avoid being miserable from now on. I needed this.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Joy this is amazing! I know the early stages are tough, but keep going.

  6. WendyL ????says:

    I just started to follow your blog. Moment ago, I had peanuts quite an amount (I love nuts it makes me crazy) . Think back, due to my still undergoing IBS symptoms, I stop eating peanuts for more than 4 years… after almost finish I felt yuck… I always felt so and den my desire over the comfort food was gone. Lately my intakes was abit haywire due to anxiety… sigh

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      It’s not an easy time for many of us, so this all seems quite understandable right?! I hope you can find compassion for yourself <3

  7. Heidisays:

    I’m new here as well and I’m trying to dig deeper into my why’s of my eating and weight gain. I’ve really never been at my ideal weight and have always LOVED sugar and truly feel addicted to it. I know it holds me back from feeling my best but yeah I feel addicted to it and have a hard time eating it in healthy ranges. I did the whole conversation with my fat exercise thing and am hoping to be inspired by it but I’m also nervous that my many years of habit will prevail. I want to have a healthy relationship with sugar but not sure that I can because I definitely enjoy the pleasure of eating it. I’m not sure that my convo with my fat went as it should have but I just kinda let the pen roll across the paper. Anyway. I intend on checking out more of your work. I have paid for the Eat Right now app which sounds like it may have similar roots but I didn’t stick with it. I want out of the cycle but my addiction makes me feel like I don’t. Help! Haha

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Heidi, I wish I could coach you so that I could learn more about how the dialogue with Fat went. Do you have my book or workbook? The workbook is probably the most powerful option for you, because it helps us understand why we do all the things that we’re frustrated about doing. I personally don’t think sugar addiction is the real problem — it always comes back to a feeling or a belief. Once we get the psychology taken care of, the “sugar addiction” becomes very easy to overcome.

  8. Heidisays:

    I am just finding you today. I have never been willing to tackle my overeating as an adult because I eat for love, I think. I was the correct weight as a child as I was a swimmer. But, I was never loved as a child, never nurtured, never touched. It continues today despite my best efforts searching for a male partner for decades. I have a true sugar addition and now having medical issues, but it change my behaviors.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Oh Heidi! I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug right now!!! You are a true warrior for going through what you have gone through, and I admire your strength. And I hope you can see how strong you are too <3

  9. Nancy Johnsonsays:

    I have purchased the workbook, etc. but it does not let me type into the blocks provided. Do I have to print it out and then write by hand in response to the questions?

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Nancy! I emailed you directly with some extra help here. Thanks for supporting my work 🙂

  10. Cheyennesays:

    Hello 🙂

    This article was really helpful. I never really did any kind of diet, because I didn’t want to struggle with food the way I struggle with other problems life has to offer. But I am now at a place in my life where I want to adres all my emotional problems and to do so I have to start with the way I cope with these emotions, which is eating. So this article is exactly what I needed!

    Everytime I try to become the person I know I am I get stuck, because I can’t seem to get rid of this cycle I created to keep myself safe. But now it’s time so realize I’m safe and stop resisting the emotions and feel and understand them.

    Thanks to this article I have got a place to start.


    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      I am so glad you found this article helpful Cheyenne. I was considering condensing it because it is one of the longest posts that I have, but it sounds like it’s helpful as it is 🙂 so thanks for your feedback, and I wish you the best of luck on this brand new journey! Keep me posted. Feeling the feels is one of the hardest decisions I ever made (and repeatedly have to make) but also the most rewarding.

  11. Brett Rsays:

    I thought this was a great piece. Well laid out. My son has an overeating problem, and I was looking for help. There’s a lot of great info and truth here. I’d never made the connection to ‘people pleasing’ but it makes sense. Thank you for this.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Thanks Brett! I am glad it was helpful, and it means a lot that you made it to the end of the article 🙂 it’s one of the longest ones I have!

  12. Kim Thompsonsays:

    Kari, I’ve known when and what set me down to overeating I’m just not sure how to rewire myself? My now ex-husband was insecure before we married and I remember the comment he made about the way I dressed (ironically that’s what got his attention). The short of it was I didn’t want him to feel that way which changed everything about the person he supposedly fell in love with. Snowballing into who I am after 25 years of marriage and countless other women he’d actually move me out to move them in. I’d become frozen and the last affair he had I had to live in the driveway because I’d become disabled and while I was in the hospital he moved her in and spent everything I’d saved. This was my fault because I felt guilty because I was in the hospital and I wanted to comfort him so I gave him access to my savings. I kept telling myself that my illness was hard on him because I’d been the breadwinner and took care of everything till the disease put me down. I could always find excuses for him doing me wrong. And he’d eventually be back asking for another chance. The only good thing I have achieved is actually moving away and divorcing him. It’s only paper though because I still let him in any time he wants. Anyway, I’m rambling. I just know where it started just not how to make it end. I have such a sick opinion of myself and can’t shake it. I weighed 105 before then 170 while married and now I’m 202. I blame my health but my health should be motivating. I know I’d probably feel less pain if I lost weight. I’d probably actually feel like I didn’t have to settle for being used and shut the door on my ex. And be confident in me like I used to be.
    Sorry for the rambling . I appreciate your information and I’m going to keep moving towards finding the cure for my self inflicted insanity.
    Greatly appreciated,

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Kim, thank you so much for bravely sharing your story. I am sure that anyone who reads this will feel enormous compassion for you – I know I do! You have been through so much. And even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are showing up for yourself. You are showing up for yourself by looking around for the answer. To me, this is incredible because it means you’re ready for change, and I am confident that you’ll find it. Those who don’t look for answers often can’t make the breakthrough; but those who search are the ones who discover. I’m being cheesy, but I feel compelled to shine a light on how far you’ve come versus focusing on how far there is to go. You have lots of heavy emotions to move through, and perhaps you can start there. Feeling and healing. <3 I send so many hugs your way!!!

  13. Helen Evanssays:

    I’m sitting at my son’s home enjoying the holidays. I shared with my son and daughter in law I must work on why i emotionally over eat. I’m 100 lbs overweight. This excess weight is causing many health issues. I’ve dieted many times. Yo-Yo, lose weight, go back to eating, gain even more weight back. I googled the subject and there you were. The article was spot on and I will begin to evaluate and become more aware of “what empty space” I’m trying to fill. Saying that right there brings on so many emotions, memories and low self worth. I’m excited about taking these baby steps to a healthier life. Thank you so much.

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Helen, this is such a meaningful story. You are so brave!! Knowing that it brings up heavy emotions as you type it, I know you’re onto something big. And it warms my heart that you already know this to be true. Your intuition is strong, and I have no doubt that this inner work will unlock something big for you <3 This is so powerful!!

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