Are You an Emotional Overeater?

by Andrea Metcalf

donut missing a biteDoes a fight with your mate or an argument with your teenager propel you straight to the bottom of an ice-cream carton? Does an impending job interview send you to the nearest drive-through lane faster than you can say, "Fries with that, please?" Perhaps you eat when you're tense, lonely, afraid, depressed or angry -- pretty much anytime things go wrong. If so you may be overeating in response to emotions. Take this short quiz to find out.

Emotional Eater Quiz

1. I turn to food when I'm sad, disappointed, or lonely. Yes ___ No ___
2. I often eat past the point of fullness. Yes ___ No ___
3. When I'm upset, I crave sweets or salty snack foods. Yes ___ No ___
4. At parties or dining out with friends, I tend to overeat. Yes ___ No ___
5. If I eat too much, I feel guilty afterwards. Yes ___ No ___
6. I eat more than I should when I'm home alone or bored. Yes ___ No ___
7. Moods are the biggest influence on when and how I eat. Yes ___ No ___
8. I like to nurture family and friends with food. Yes ___ No ___
9. I think about food a lot. Yes ___ No ___
10. I am unhappy with my weight, but I overeat anyway. Yes ___ No ___
11. Eating is my favorite activity. Yes ___ No ___
12. I tend to clean my plate; I don't like to waste food. Yes ___ No ___
13. I binge habitually. Yes ___ No ___
14. The large amount of food I eat embarrasses me. Yes ___ No ___
15. Sugary foods tend to calm me down. Yes ___ No ___

Scoring

Tally your votes.

If you answered yes to eight or more questions:
Your feelings of anger, frustration, loneliness, sadness, boredom, or even happiness might be causing you to overeat. And you are probably an emotional overeater. You may be eating too much or eating chaotically, but what you are really feeding is something in your life: relationship problems, broken dreams, financial worries, or problems at work. Try the strategies in this chapter, but don't be afraid to seek professional help.

If you answered yes to four to seven questions:
You may be struggling with some emotions from time to time. You are a borderline emotional overeater. At this point, it will be easier to get your eating habits under control by applying some of the strategies in this chapter.

If you circled three or fewer yeses:
You probably aren't an emotional overeater. You may occasionally use food to cope, but for the most part, it doesn't interfere with your ability to manage your weight.

The above is an excerpt from the book Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body by Andrea Metcalf.

Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body, has been teaching fitness, training clients, and coaching on subjects of nutrition and health for the past 27 years. Andrea is a regular contributor to magazines and frequently appears on TV. Andrea has three children and lives in Chicago.

Copyright © Andrea Metcalf. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.