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Unpacking Uncontrolled Eating: Overeating, Emotional Eating, and Binge Eating

Amy English, Emotional Eating Coach

Do you ever find yourself finishing an entire bag of chips, mindlessly snacking throughout the day, or suddenly overwhelmed by an urge to eat everything in sight?  These experiences, while common, can be signs of different unhealthy eating habits. Today, we'll break down three key culprits: overeating, emotional eating, and binge eating. Understanding the "why" behind your eating patterns is the first step towards taking control and building a healthier relationship with food.

1. Overeating:

Overeating simply means consuming more calories than your body needs. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like eating too quickly, distracted eating while watching TV, or portion sizes that are just too large. While it might not be as dramatic as a binge, chronic overeating can impact health goals and cause other health issues.

Signs of Overeating:

  • Feeling constantly full or uncomfortable after meals.

  • Regularly losing track of time while eating.

  • Finishing meals feeling unsatisfied and wanting more.


2. Emotional Eating:

Emotional eating is using food to cope with negative emotions like stress, sadness, boredom, or loneliness. It's a way to numb or soothe those feelings, but unfortunately, the comfort is temporary and can lead to guilt and shame later on.

Signs of Emotional Eating:

  • Turning to food for comfort during times of emotional distress.

  • Craving specific "comfort foods" like sweets or carbs when feeling down.

  • Eating even when you're not physically hungry.


3. Binge Eating:

Binge eating is characterized by episodes of rapid, uncontrolled eating, often to the point of discomfort. This is usually followed by feelings of shame, guilt, and secrecy.  Binge eating can be a symptom of a more serious eating disorder and may require professional help.

Signs of Binge Eating:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short time.

  • Feeling a loss of control during eating episodes.

  • Hiding food or binges from others.

Identifying Your Unwanted Habit:

Reflecting on your eating patterns can help you identify which category you might fall into. Consider these questions:

  • What triggers my desire to eat?

  • Do I eat differently depending on my emotions?

  • How do I feel physically and emotionally after eating?

Taking Control:


Understanding your eating habits is the first step towards healing. Here are some tips to break free from these unwanted behaviors:


  • Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to your hunger cues and focus on the experience of eating.

  • Identify your triggers: What situations or emotions lead you to overeat? Develop healthier coping mechanisms.

  • Plan your meals and snacks: This helps prevent mindless snacking and overeating.

  • Seek support: Schedule a Discovery Call with me and learn how coaching helps. Book your call here.

Remember, building a healthy relationship with food is a journey, not a destination. By understanding your habits and adopting healthier practices, you can take control and achieve a more balanced and fulfilling way of eating.

xo, Amy

P.S. You can listen to my latest podcast episode on this topic here.

Listen to Fat2Fierce® The Confidence Chronicles Podcast on Spotify, Apple, Audible, and YouTube.  And join me on TikTok: @amyenglishcc.

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