The Spiritual Meaning of Overeating: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food by Looking Within

the spiritual meaning of overeating: using food as a doorway into spiritual growth

I am a firm believer in the “metaphysical” cause of physical ailments. I absolutely believe there’s a deep, underlying spiritual cause of physical symptoms, including overeating.

Before I explain how overeating is correlated with our spirituality, I need to explain something about eyesight. It will seem off topic at first, but everything will come together, I promise!

The Spiritual Meaning of Overeating: Let’s Start with an Anecdote

Like many people, I am nearsighted and I require glasses to see objects clearly at a distance. From a Western perspective, my poor eyesight is caused by genetics. Also, according to Western medicine, my eyes will only get worse over time. Great.

But let’s look at it from a metaphysical perspective. Many people — with the most influential person being Louise Hay — believe that the metaphysical cause of myopia (nearsightedness) is an unwillingness to see. (Can you already guess how this relates to the spiritual meaning of overeating?)

Once I discovered this, I took steps towards natural vision improvement and slashed my prescription in half over the course of a year. It blew my mind! My optometrist tried to rationalize it away, but I could tell he was deeply unsettled by it, because Western medicine firmly believes that the only way to fix myopia is through surgery.

What Happens When We Attempt to Bypass the Spiritual Meaning of Physical Ailments?

“When there is a problem, there is not something to do, there is something to know.” -Louise Hay

Although I had successfully slashed my prescription in half, I plateaued after that, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t improve more. This was almost 7 years ago.

Then, just the other day I decided, “Screw it. Why not just get Lasik? I know how to take better care of my eyes now that I’ve done the natural improvement stuff, so I can maintain the progress once I get back to 20/20…”

Translation for those of us that struggle with overeating: “Screw it, why not just get weight loss surgery? I know how to take care of my health, so I can maintain the progress once I’m thin…”

Except, it doesn’t work that way.

Deep down, Lasik didn’t feel right. Deep down, I knew there was still deep spiritual roots that I needed to untangle, and getting surgery would shut me off from a meaningful sign.

My nearsightedness is here to tell me something: that there’s something that I’m still not willing to “see.” That I am still blocked somewhere. That I am still in denial of something, somewhere… and it’s my job to find it. 

The same goes for the spiritual meaning of overeating: it means there’s something deeper going on, and it’s your job to find it. But how, exactly?

How to Address the Spiritual Root of Overeating

“I’ve learned that for every condition in our lives, there’s a need for it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have it. The symptom is only an outer effect. We must go within to dissolve the mental cause.” -Louise Hay

In a separate article, I wrote about the spiritual roots of weight gain, which is a deep-seated need for protection. I think this overlaps strongly with the spiritual meaning of overeating.

Along with a need for protection, I also believe that overeating is influenced by emotional avoidance, kind of like the ostrich-with-its-head-in-the-sand analogy. This is why trapped emotions lead to weight gain. When we don’t express or feel our emotions, they fester and push us towards compulsion.

Additionally, from a chakra perspective, overeating could be linked to imbalances in the Solar Plexus Chakra, which governs our sense of self-esteem and control, and the Sacral Chakra, which influences our feelings and sexuality. An imbalance in these energy centers can manifest as a loss of control over eating habits and a tendency to use food as a shield against emotional discomfort.

When we put all of these ideas together, the spiritual meaning of overeating just might be a need for protection from trapped, uncomfortable emotions. At a spiritual level, we need to be willing to see our emotions — all of them, not just the ones that feel good. And it really is a spiritual journey, because your emotions — especially the uncomfortable ones — are trying to tell you something.

Opening Your Eyes to All Emotion

Many of us buffer our emotions with food. Some of us know this, but many of us have no idea just how deep those emotions go. For instance, I used to think that I ate because of sugar addiction. But once I started digging into the psycho-spiritual side of my relationship with food, I realized that I turned to food whenever I felt lonely, anxious, depressed, or uncertain.

And therein lies the solution: learn how to feel your authentic discomfort instead of reaching for food. Get curious about what your authentic discomfort looks like. Do you reach for food when you’re stressed? Bored? Lonely? Even if you think you know what your triggers are, I bet there’s more to it than that.

Use my Stop, Drop, & Feel tool to help you discover the emotions that drive overeating: 

how to stop a binge in its tracks with the Stop, Drop, & Feel®️

I know it sounds overly simplistic to “just feel your feelings” instead of overeating, but when you give the Stop, Drop, & Feel a try, you’ll see exactly how not simple it is. Don’t be surprised if you get hit sideways by emotion.

When I first used the tool, I distinctly remember bursting into tears — and I didn’t even know I was sad. I had no idea. And that’s where my true work was: discovering and developing tolerance for the trapped emotions I once buffered with food.

That was my spiritual root of overeating. What will yours be? There’s only one way to find out: Stop, Drop, & Feel.

When the Stop, Drop, & Feel Revealed the Spiritual Meaning of My Overeating

Now, I’ve saved the juiciest tidbit for last:

The reason why I looked into natural vision improvement to begin with was because, around 2016 — the same year I gave up dieting, hmm! — my glasses started bothering me. Not in the “normal way” where I knew I needed to get a stronger prescription, but in a different way where my glasses almost felt too strong.

That’s when I decided to try natural vision improvement. However, even before I started actively improving my vision, it was doing so all on its own. And this correlated with the precise moment that I started “feeling my feelings” in response to the desire to eat without hunger.

When I gave up dieting and started doing the Stop, Drop, & Feel in 2016, my eyes finally opened to the many uncomfortable emotions that I once ignored.

I have no doubt that my new willingness to see my emotions — all of my emotions, not just the positive ones — was what kickstarted my vision improvement. I had finally addressed the spiritual root of my myopia, which also just so happened to overlap with the spiritual meaning of my overeating.

Stopping Overeating the Psycho-Spiritual Way

Once I witnessed my vision improving after “opening my eyes” to the emotions I once buffered with food… I was amazed. It confirmed everything I learned through Louise Hay’s work, which advocates for addressing the metaphysical cause of physical ailments, or the spiritual root of your physical troubles. 

This is one of many reasons why I like to call my philosophy for stopping compulsive eating Psycho-Spiritual Wellness. It doesn’t involve diets or exercise, because that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve found much more traction by digging into the psychology and spirituality behind overeating.

If any of this resonated with you, then I have the perfect next step: get a copy of, The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Stop Binge Eating. It’s free, and it’s right up your alley! Sign up below:

Keep It Going: Get The Spiritual Seeker's Guide to Stop Binge Eating (Free Ebook)

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Free 13-page ebook: Keep your momentum going by downloading my free ebook, The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Stop Binge Eating. It’s not just junk to get into your inbox, I promise. Sign up and see for yourself. You can unsubscribe anytime.

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You're On a Roll: Take the Eating Psychology QUIZ!

Even if you struggle with overeating, I bet I can guess your strength around food.

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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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2 thoughts on "The Spiritual Meaning of Overeating: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food by Looking Within"

  1. Astrid Norasays:

    Dear Kari
    I’m so so happy I ‘stumbled’ upon your blog. All your thoughts and words make so much sense to me. I’m amazed of your wisdom and also willingness to have embodied the wisdom yourself. Thank you!
    I’ve started a ‘body journal’ letting my body talk. Unfortunately I didn’t get to buy the bundle within the 45 min after receiving your first mail.
    But Thank you for all your tips. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
    Much love and gratitude, Astrid

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Astrid! I am so happy that this resonated with you! And that it inspired you to start a body journal. That sounds like an exquisite form of self-care. I hope you’ll reply to one of my emails sometime! I’d love to hear how things are going 🙂

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