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Emotional Eating is Yummy, So Why Not Become an Expert?

Friday October 21, 2022

Lately I’ve realized: It totally sucks that there’s this term “Emotional Eating”, which involves being ashamed or unhappy, and not processing one’s emotions, and completely messing up and eating too much.


“Emotional eating” should be a positive term. It should involve eating the stuff you really like to eat.

In other words, it should build on your own personal values system. And we know that your personal values are powerful and healthy when it comes to assisting with life-changing goals.

Signs of a Really Good Emotional Eater?

Maybe this sounds foreign. But I think a truly healthy diet culture should be able to teach people HOW to become Expert Emotional Eaters.

Let’s play with that idea a bit.

Here’s where I think an Expert Emotional Eater (EEE) should be:

  1. The EEE should be in general control of their health. They are taking care of themselves in a good way.
  2. They should be happy with their weight, or with the direction their diet & eating is taking.
  3. They know how to leverage their favorite foods toward weight loss or weight maintenance, not just weight gain.
    1. They can design a diet with their favorite foods as a foundation, or centering philosophy.
  4. They find it easier to lose weight on a diet that is calibrated to their favorite foods.
    1. They should know how often they should eat favorite foods to continue supporting a challenging emotional situation, such as extreme weight loss.
  5. They should be able to list their favorite foods in any given category.
  6. When listing favorite foods, they should be able to tell you what portion size they usually like with that.
    1. Why? Well, partly because they are also looking forward to what they’re eating later, and want to leave room for it.
  7. They should have a nuanced opinion on “health foods”, rather than simply “this is healthy, and that isn’t”.
    1. They understand that “healthy eating, for me” may be a different thing from someone else’s healthy eating entirely, and also better and more useful to know about, in many ways.
  8. They ensure they get enough nutrition, but also know how to be flexible with a pro-nutrient, or even pro-macro approach. They understand that many people get more than enough nutrients, and that nutrients can be measured and managed without changing an entire diet too much.
  9. They know how to both refine and broaden their tastes. Their idea of good food may have some complex theories inside. Plus, they know what they like, but they also keep an open mind.
  10. They see the world of emotions as a beautiful place that goes so much deeper than Good vs. Bad emotion.
  11. They are able to set healthy boundaries with others on the topic of eating, for example in social eating situations.

So, there’s one set of ideas, just to demonstrate more about what this could mean.

There are many ways to lose weight and be healthy. You could say we’re drowning in them. But the one you’re reading here is just a bit higher on the “let’s work with my normal biology, chemistry, and cave-person brain” scale than, say, extreme volume eating combined with strict macros.

Personally, I like to combine this Pro-Emotional Eating perspective with a caloric-deficit model to lose weight, and that becomes something like my Moderated Dirty Cut.

I lost over 35% of my body weight and overcame obesity in this way, and many of my friends didn’t recognize me afterward. I still enjoy working on the Pro-Emotional perspective, learning more about what I like, and when, and why, and so on.

I think this model, the Pro-Emotional Eating Perspective model (PEEP!), let’s call it, is worth considering, if you like the way certain foods taste.

It’s meant for the people out there who know they benefit emotionally from eating good food…and who definitely know they have preferences that they enjoy.

When compared with typical weight loss via numbers only, or nutrients only, I think the theory speaks for itself.

Filed in: Essays /52/ | Interests /111/ | Energy /120/ | Dieting /18/

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