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Emotional Eating Does Not Solve Problems

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by Matt Schoeneberger

Yesterday, a client of mine stepped on the scale and didn’t like what she saw. She was frustrated, understandably so. I asked what happened since I saw her last and she said “I’ve been eating to solve all my problems.”

I responded, “Does that work?”


This is where the lines blur between weight loss coach and life coach. In order to help my clients achieve long-term weight loss, I need to help them develop new habits in many areas of their lives, especially ones that relate to food in some way.

For this client, talking more about proteins, carbohydrates and fats or blathering on about cholesterol or caloric intake isn’t going to help. I need to find a way to help her see that eating does not solve problems (except maybe for hunger) and then find a way to help her apply that knowledge.

So, here’s an activity she will do during her next session.

1. Make a list of things that need to get done that you’ve been putting off.

2. Prioritize that list. The item that scares you the most goes at the top.

3. Do whatever it takes to cross that first item off. Force yourself to get it done.

4. The rest of the list looks easier in comparison, doesn’t it?

You see, people have a tendency to eat when they are avoiding an item on their to-do list. Don’t fall into that trap. Prioritize that list and recognize that you have the strength to tackle the hardest item on it. Even if you can’t complete the item right now for whatever reason, do as much as you can to get the ball rolling. Then once you’re done, go have a well-made, well-planned meal.

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One Response to “Emotional Eating Does Not Solve Problems”

  1. Christy says:

    I would also suggest you send them to Overeaters Anonymous – OA is a 12 step program helping people who are emotional eaters, compulsive eaters and people who have food addictions. You can find out more at their website. It may help your clients. Here are 15 questions any person can ask themselves to see if they are an compulsive eater:

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