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9 Signs Your Powerless Over Food

Compulsive overeating is probably more common than you think. Especially during times of crisis-like right now!

The good news is that experts understand the power food can have over people now more than ever – which means people can seek help without fear of judgment or shame.

How do you know if compulsive overeating is a problem for you and how do you know when it’s time to seek help?

Check out today’s article to learn the common markers of compulsive overeating from Overeaters Anonymous. And if you’re struggling in this area, know you’re not alone. Support is available. Reach out for help – I'm here for you.

Addictive Eating: Are You Powerless Over Food?

We are just emerging from the holiday season. And whether you were able to gather with friends and family or not we still feasted merrily on pies and potatoes, turkey and ham and all of the fixings that many of us dearly enjoy. For me, it's the chocolates and cookies I have trouble saying no to.

I can be very good and not even feel the cravings most of the time, but once I start to overindulge it becomes difficult for me to stop.

There is another side to this pretty picture, too.

What if our extra consumption of calories during the winter is fueled not by good cheer and companionship, but by anxiety? And, further, what if it’s not the gathering of loved ones that we most look forward to, but the food that we can’t get out of our minds?

This year many of us had to forgo the large family gatherings once again and yet we still ate all the food.

Also, the stress and anxiety of the past couple of years has been unavoidable. And now, for many of us we are facing more restrictions and lock downs keeping us from our loved ones and being able to do the things that we love. Add to the mix the anxiety caused by a sputtering economy and many of us might find ourselves reaching for “comfort” food.

An anxiety-provoked behavior, such as overeating, is an attempt to cope with that anxiety, but as with most such behaviors, it can become a problem itself. Overeating can become a compulsion and lead to health issues such as diabetes and obesity.

This is not to say that you should reflexively turn down that second piece of pumpkin pie, but if you were dreaming of that pie for days and if, in fact, you care more about that pie than the people around you, then you may have a problem that needs attention.

According to Overeaters Anonymous, here are a few other common markers of compulsive eating:

1. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?

2. Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?

3. Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?

4. Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?

5. Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?

6. Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?

7. Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?

8. Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?

9. Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

If you think that you might be overeating compulsively, it is possible to recover. Help is available through the 12-Step programs Overeaters Anonymous and Food Addicts Anonymous, as well as a therapist or counselor.

When I work with my clients we work together to find out what is really going on underneath the cravings. Sometimes small changes to the foods your eating or the self care you're giving yourself can be the missing piece.

With the help and support of others, you can uncover the reasons behind your compulsive eating, find other strategies for coping with anxiety and get on a food program that can sustain and, even, restore your health.

While you may still have those dreams about that second piece of pumpkin pie, you can also live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life without it.

If any of this resonates with you, register for my free webinar to find out more, or take the leap and sign up for my one-on-one program or my new 8 week New Year, New You Group program.


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