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The 12 Types of Emotional Hunger

The 12 Types of Emotional Hunger

Below are the 12 types of emotional hunger that fuel Emotional Eating. As you read through the list, ask yourself how many of these apply to you and your life. If you use food in any of the ways listed below, you'll know that Emotional Eating factors into your efforts to lose weight.

Type 1. Dulling The Pain With The Food Trance.
If you get really hungry when you feel angry, depressed, anxious, bored, or lonely, you use food to dull the pain that these emotions cause.

Type 2. Sticks And Stones May Break Your Bones, But Cake Won't Heal What Hurts You.
If you react by getting hungry when others talk down to you, take advantage of you, belittle you or take you for granted you eat to avoid confrontation.

Type 3. A Full Heart Fills An Empty Belly.
If you crave food when you have tension in your close relationships, you eat to avoid feeling the pain of rejection or anger.

Type 4. Hate Yourself, Love Your Munchies.
If you tend to become hypercritical of yourself, if you label yourself "stupid", "lazy," or "a loser," you eat to stuff down self-hatred.

Type 5. Secret Desires Have No Calories.
If your hunger gets activated because your intimate relationships don't satisfy some basic need like trust or security, you use food to try to fill the gap.

Type 6. Forty Million Big Gulps And The Well Is Still Empty.
If you eat to make up for the deprivation you experienced as a child, you eat to forget the past.

Type 7. It's My Pastry, and I'll Eat If I Want To.
If you eat to assert your independence because you don't want anyone telling you what to do, you eat to rebel.

Type 8. I Can't Come To Work Today — I'm Eating
If your appetite kicks in when you're faced with new challenges — if you use food to avoid rising to the test, you eat to protect yourself from the fear of failure.

Type 9. Aroused by Aromas, Not by the Chef.
If you stuff your face in order to avoid your sexuality — either to stay overweight so that nobody desires you or to hide from intimate encounters — you eat to protect yourself from getting too close.

Type 10. I'll Beat You With this Eclair.
Emotional eaters often eat to pay back those who have hurt them, often in the distant past. They use their bodies as battlegrounds for working out old resentments. If you do this, you eat to get revenge.

Type 11. Peter Pan and the Peanut Butter Cookie.
If you eat to make yourself feel carefree, like a child, you eat to keep yourself from facing the challenges of growing up.

Type 12. That Stranger In Lycra Wearing Your Face.
If you overeat because you fear getting thin, either consciously or unconsciously, you eat to avoid the fear of change.

Roger Gould MD
The Book "Shrink Yourself"

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