Welcome Tamar Samuels to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Tamar discuss the science behind disordered and emotional eating, what drives us to the habit, and tips for managing these behaviors.
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Disordered & Emotional Eating
- Disordered eating behaviors and in particular dieting are among the most common risk factors for the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are severe and life-threatening mental illnesses. An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice [source].
- Emotional eating is a ultimately a coping mechanism. Most often, we’re eating to cope with mostly negative emotion, but also positive emotions. For example, ating for joy is emotional eating. Emotional eating doesn’t neceassarily have to do with weight, but about utilizing food to resolve feelings.
- Furthermore, food doesn’t actually have the ability to solve these foundational problems that are leading to our uncomfortable emotions. It can help us to cope with the discomfort in the moment but it doesn’t solve those problems in the long term. It’s ultimately a bandaid.
- People are advocating for themselves for the first time in a way that they haven’t before because of leaders in the space. People are talking about body size in a way that is empowering and transparent about health, how that relates to body size, what does the research says.
- Disordered eating is often encouraged in larger bodies
- Taking insurance is important part of this, as it gives people access.
- Ask, is this person in my community an ally in supporting my health and my relationship with food or is this person harming my relationship with food?
- It takes a village. Find support from people you trust, ideally includes healthcare professional.
- In Tamar’s experience, for people raised in diet culture, it feels like weight loss is always the goal. But ultimately, when talking to people about what they’re trying to achieve, weight loss really doesn’t have to be a part of that. It’s really about clarifying what someone wants outside of a number on the scale. You can ultimately achieve so much in your health without losing weight.
- Mindfulness is key, you can’t change a thought pattern or behavior without being aware that it’s happening.
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References & Products
- National Eating Disorders Collaboration: Disordered Eating & Dieting
- Tamar’s Instagram Post – Emotional Eating
- Weight loss: Gain control of emotional eating, Mayo Clinic
- Anorexia Nervosa Comes in All Sizes, Including Plus Size, UCSF
- Glennon Doyle reveals anorexia diagnosis: “I did not believe it’, Today.com
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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.