Dear Steph,

I can’t stop eating! I mean it! Ever since we’ve been at home, I’m eating non-stop. I’m not even hungry half the time. Some days I’m not bothered but some days I get really upset and annoyed with myself. What’s going on and how can I stop?

Hi there,

Thanks so much for getting in touch! So there’s a couple of things at play here.

(1) Survival mode.

(2) Boredom.

(3) Coping Mechanism.

Let’s talk about survival mode. Our brains and nervous systems are programmed to keep us alive. At times of fear and panic, survival becomes our only priority. Anything that gets in the way of our ability to survive, is deemed unsafe and must be avoided. We’re reading, seeing, and hearing a lot of content that causes fear, uncertainty, and panic. So naturally we go into survival mode, which means we may eat more. It’s a natural response.

Next is boredom. Well, eating can be fun right! We get to try new recipes, create new masterpieces (or messes!), and taste new things. And it passes the time too.

Lastly is the coping mechanism piece. We all have one. Something we do when we’re stressed. Some people bite their nails, some people pull their hair, some people smoke/drink, and some people eat, sometimes to excess. Eating releases some of our feel-good hormones so it actually does make us feel better, momentarily. But when our eating gets out of hand, it can have a negative effect on our mood and our self-esteem.

Here’s a couple of things you can do: start a journal to find out when and how often you’re eating, or overeating. Look for patterns; is it certain times of the day, when you’re feeling a certain way, or when something particular has happened? Having these answers will help you to tackle it. Next, try deep breathing. When you get a craving, if you’ve already eaten and you’re not actually hungry, move to a different room, take a seat, both feet on the ground, hands-on your lap, eyes closed, and breathe deeply for 3 full minutes. It should help with eliminating cravings that are coming from the wrong place. I hope this helps.

Take care!

Steph x

Find out more about Steph, and how to ask her a question here…

Supported By

Our Pro bono Partners