Typical behaviors of a compulsive eater

On the flip side, many people overeat when under stress sometimes to the point of eating compulsively. The following behaviors are typical of a compulsive eater:

  • Eating when not hungry
  • Feeling out of control when around food—either trying to resist it or gorging on it
  • Spending a lot of time thinking or worrying about food and one’s weight
  • Feeling desperate to try another diet that promises Results
  • Feeling self-loathing and shame
  • Hating one’s own body
  • Being obsessed with what one can or will eat, or has Eaten
  • Eating in secret or with “eating partners”
  • Appearing in public to be a professional dieter who’s in control
  • Buying cakes or pies and treating them as gifts—for example, having them wrapped to hide the fact that they’re for oneself
  • Feeling either out of control with food (compulsive eating) or imprisoned by it (dieting)
  • Feeling temporary relief by not eating
  • Looking forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when one can eat alone
  • Feeling unhappy because of one’s eating behavior most people eat when they’re hungry. But if you’re a compulsive eater, hunger cues have nothing to do with when you eat. You may eat for any of the following reasons.
  • To take part in a social event, including family meals or meeting friends at restaurants, where the food is the entertainment, even when you’re not hungry
  • To satisfy mouth hunger—the need to have something in your mouth, even though you’re not hungry
  • To prevent future hunger that is “Better eat now, because later I may not get a chance”
  • As a reward for enduring a bad day or bad experience, or to celebrate a good day or good experience
  • Because “It’s the only pleasure I can count on!”
  • To quell nerves
  • Because you’re bored
  • To reward, comfort, or protect yourself because you’re “going on a diet” tomorrow
  • Because food is your “friend”

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