Are You A Food Addict? When Emotional Eating Crosses Into Food Addiction

When I tell people that I specialize in emotional eating, the most common response I hear is, “I do that”. The reality is most of us struggle with emotional eating at one time or another. Most people then ask me when it is a problem. I believe it becomes an issue when it takes on a compulsive nature. From my perspective, eating when you are a food addict isn’t even pleasurable anymore. It is more like scratching an itch. You think that you are eating because it tastes good or you will feel better, but by the time it is in your mouth, you are already thinking about the next meal. Here are a few indicators that what you are experiencing is more than emotional eating:

Warning signs for food addiction:

  • Your eating patterns cause you distress
  • Unable to stop despite consequences
  • Hiding your eating from others
  • Obsessive thoughts about food
  • Feeling anxious and/or agitated when you think about giving up certain foods
  • You need more food to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure


The good news is that help is available. Specialized therapeutic techniques can target these eating patterns to help you stop compulsive overeating, food addiction and binge eating in its tracks.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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