My Top 5 Books For Emotional Eating

I am obsessed with reading books on emotional eating, food addiction and binge eating!  I was recently asked about my favorites, so here you go…

1. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD
Evelyn and Elyse are both registered dietitians who wrote this book based on 10 principles to help you break up with dieting and start listening to your body. I LOVE Intuitive Eating! It changed my life and how I approach food. I love how they break things down. There is a science around why we eat emotionally and it is usually because we ignore our body. I love that there are no good and bad foods and we just need to learn to eat as soon as we feel hungry and stop as soon as we aren’t hungry any longer. Although this concept is simple, the emotional component is difficult to break. This is where therapy can help with the barriers.

2. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Michelle May, MD
Dr. May has written several versions of this book since the original. She now has books specific for binge eating, bariatric surgery and diabetes. Her concepts are fairly similar to Intuitive Eating, but she adds other pieces. She has started some online programs and retreats that help people work with the question “Am I Hungry?” Which is the title of these programs. She provides useful tools to help people get in touch with their hunger in a very meaningful way.

3. Any book by Geneen Roth
Geneen Roth has written many books on emotional eating. She has so many good insights about the struggle people go through in their relationship with food. I like the audiobook versions best because she often has exercises to illustrate how to change your relationship with food and I find it easier to follow along with the audio version. She does tend to tell the same stories in each of her books, so it can get a little redundant, but there are new parts to glean from each book.

4. Self Therapy by Jay Earley, PhD
While this book is not specific to emotional eating, Dr Earley explains Internal Family Systems which is a therapy that explores pieces of ourselves that protect us from painful emotions. I find it incredibly helpful to guide clients through the parts that engage in emotional eating and self-sabotage to see what they are being protected from. In this self-therapy version, you can walk through the process with a partner, but I do recommend seeking support from a licensed therapist.

5. The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brene Brown, LCSW
Also not specifically for emotional eating, but Brene is a shame researcher who does a lovely job of exploring the impact shame has in our lives. In my experience, most people who have a difficult relationship with food also feel a tremendous amount of shame. It is a must read for anyone who struggles with emotional eating!

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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