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Overeating in times of major depression

[Deleted User]
[Deleted User] Posts: 23 Connected
Hi Kirsten I am 57 years old and finding it difficult once I have lost weight to keep going because I have these depressive cycles. At this moment I am having counseling for some deep issues. How can I stop myself from eating so many calories during a depressive cycle. I keep sabotaging my efforts with I'm in emotional pain.


  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Purposeful, thanks for sharing this with us and it's really good to hear that you're also seeing a counsellor- I really hope they can help. Hopefully our advisor will be in touch soon with some guidance!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 23 Connected
    Thank you pippascope :)
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,674 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Purposeful

    I think lots of people will know where you are coming from as food and emotions are often tightly bound together, there is an article here on Boots/Web MD about emotional eating that suggests:

    Keeping a food diary to track what you've been eating alongside what was happening or going through your mind at the time can help identify what triggers emotional eating.

    Knowing what these triggers are can help you break the emotional eating habits and deal with triggers instead of turning to food.

    It can help to find pleasurable alternatives to eating and to distract yourself from the trigger feelings.

    These might include:
    • Read a book or magazine, listen to music
    • Have a relaxing bath
    • Try deep breathing exercises or meditation
    • Talk to a friend, or write a letter or email
    • Get stuck into jobs around the home, like housework or gardening
    • Enjoy a hobby
    • Learn to enjoy non-food rewards - such as shopping away from food shops.
    Senior online community officer
  • KirstenNutritionAdvisor
    KirstenNutritionAdvisor Member Posts: 53 Courageous

    Firstly well done on taking steps to overcome this habit. 

    When we have emotions we cant deal with we often swap the focus to something to avoid dealing with them hence the term emotional eating. 

    Your eating for something that isnt isn't related to hunger so no amount of food will fill the void because the void is not caused by physical hunger.

    understanding this is the first step to changing it.

    however is important to understand this is a habit that has developed over time and it will time take to re- establish different habits. 

    Very often when we have habbits they serve serve a purpose so what I would ask you to do is to find out what the positives are in your current emotional eating be. For some people in similar positions emotional eating serves as a way of filling the void or actually avoiding the issue by swapping your focus. 

    You are incontrol even when it feels like you are you can decide what you eat, when you eat and what you eat, and with practise you can over come self sabotage. 

    I would encourage you to keep working king through this issue with the help of a counsellor and I also think keeping a thought diary may help you identify patterns.

    you can do it, where you are now is not where you will always be!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 23 Connected
    Thank you so much Kirsten. I love to knit.  I don't get out that much because of my back problem and agoraphobia. However, I have a good friend and we are looking for a support group. I have started to keep a diary and my nurse I see on a regular basis sees it. It's good to be accountable to someone in my efforts to break this cycle. Thank you for your advice.


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