20 Types Of Emotional Eating You Didn’t Know About

September 2, 2016  |  
1 of 21

Most of us are familiar with emotional eating. And when we think of it, we think of people who eat because they are sad. But there is much more to it than that. Emotional eating can work on many levels, both mentally and physically. Some people turn to over-eating because the mere physical effects of it–like nausea, vomiting, and bloat–give them an excuse to get out of something they were afraid to do. Sometimes they are punishing themselves for something with the symptoms of overeating. Eating also triggers happy chemicals in our brains. And you probably know of a lot of times when you could desperately need some instant happy chemicals. Eating is also a task that requires time and attention, so it can be used to put something off, or distract ourselves from something we don’t want to think about. Emotional eating is quite complex, and for some people, it can be so severe that it interferes with their ability to lead a regular life, so it’s important to identify it. Here are 20 types of emotional eaters you probably didn’t know existed.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Proving your self-esteem wrong

Some people, when they find themselves feeling envious of somebody with a “better body,” will become so frustrated with themselves for being envious, that they’ll want to prove themselves wrong. They want to say, “I don’t care, actually” and they say it by eating a bunch.
"Elderly black couple pf"

Shutterstock

Fighting with your parents

Food can provide some of the same comforting chemical changes that being near our family can. When people feel distant from their family (say, after fighting with their mom) they might eat to make up for that loss of connection.
Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

I earned this through diet

Some people hate their diet. Like, really hate it. Resent it, even. So, come Friday, after dieting all week, they eat a tub of ice cream while staring, vengefully, at a bag of lettuce.
Corbis

Corbis

I earned it through work

Some people don’t treat themselves, after a long week of work, to a movie or a night out with friends. Some people treat themselves to a night in with pizza. And brownies. And that pizza cookie thing.
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Screw that guy

Have you ever found yourself scarfing down ice cream after a guy didn’t want a second date? Or you found out a guy was dating somebody else? Some women eat as a way of saying, “And here is how much I don’t care!”
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

My job sucks

If you are truly miserable at your job, you might snack throughout the day, so there is at least one enjoyable thing about your work.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I’m not exercising guilt

You might turn to a giant tub of pretzels after walking by a group of women who meet every morning to jog on the beach, or passing by a Pilates class that you’re not in. First, you feel guilty that you’re not there. Then, you feel mad at yourself for feeling guilty. Then you eat to prove that you don’t feel guilty.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Somebody let me down

People might let you down. Friends may forget to invite you to parties. Guys might turn out to be terrible. But your pasta–your pasta is always dependable and predictable.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I already put on weight, so…

Sometimes, when you realize you’ve already slipped a little, you just want to fall all of the way. It’s like losing hope. That’s why, when some women realize they’ve put on a few pounds, they eat a few pounds worth of food.
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

This money isn’t helping

If you’re very lucky, you’ll learn that having lots of money doesn’t bring happiness. Unfortunately, some people learn that, and they don’t have anything else to bring them happiness…so they eat.
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

And you used to be poor

Those who used to be so poor they could barely afford enough food, and now are so rich they could afford a personal chef, often turn to binge eating. It’s a form of calorie-hoarding–they subconsciously fear to go without again.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Let’s keep the orgasm going

Binge eating post-sex (or masturbation) is actually quite common. You’re already in the head space of treating your body to pleasant sensations, and you want to keep that going with some Pastrami and cheese. And Oreos. And chips.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

The procrastinator

You can’t quite get to cleaning the floors or finishing that work document if your hands are covered in barbecue sauce, now can you?
natural hair harassment

Corbis

In need of a distraction

You’re waiting for a text response from a guy you really like, or to discover whether or not you got your dream job, or to hear how your mother recovered after surgery. You think you’ll go insane if you just sit around and so…you eat.
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

The unsatisfactory relationship

If you’re in the wrong relationship, you may try to drown those feelings of, “I feel pretty numb around this person” or “I feel annoyed around this person” with “I feel like having pancakes and ice cream.”
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Traumatic memories

If you keep a food journal and a regular journal, you may find that your binges occur on the same days that you were reflecting on painful memories from the past. Some people eat to distract themselves from traumatic memories they’re not quite ready to face.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Tomorrow is a big day

When you’re anxious about a big day–maybe a presentation, or a day you think your partner might propose–you may obsess over it going perfectly. You might then think of how disappointed you’ll be if it doesn’t go perfectly, so you preemptively ruin it, by stuffing yourself to the point of guilt.
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Road rage

Do you keep snacks in the car? Do you eat them at an alarming rate? (Say, much faster than you eat those same snacks at home?) You may eat to avoid road rage.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Social anxiety

People who suffer from social anxiety might use binge eating as an excuse not to go out. If they’re so stuffed that they’re sick, they have an excuse not to go to the party.
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Fear of expectations

Some people keep on extra weight because they feel it keeps them out of the running for certain things, like relationships, jobs, friendships and more. They fear that if they were in shape, they’d no longer have an excuse to hide.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN