Do you eat when you are stressed, bored, or just because you see a food you like? Many people struggle with emotional eating that stops their weight loss or causes them to gain weight. Use this prayer to stop emotional eating with God’s help.
What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is using food as a way to manage your emotions.
Emotional eating is…
- eating to make yourself feel better.
- using food as a buffer or way to numb your emotions.
- eating for any reason other than physical hunger.
- why you are overweight.
Emotional eating often stops people from losing weight. For much of my life, I was an emotional eater. I was able to overcome my emotional eating and you can, too. It’s not easy but it can be done.
Today, I am at my goal weight and I don’t eat for emotional reasons.
Learn to Recognize Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is often called stress eating. Many of us eat when we are stressed as a way to calm ourselves down.
Food is (relatively) cheap, it’s easily accessible, and it doesn’t seem “that bad” compared to other substances and addictive behaviors, so it’s easy to justify stress eating.
But there’s more to the picture of what emotional eating can look like.
Sometimes people email me and say, “I’m not an emotional eater. I just really love food.”
“No,” I tell them. “You are an emotional eater.”
(Lots of them never email me back. I wonder why – ha!)
People who are naturally thin do not eat for emotional reasons. While they may VERY rarely indulge because it’s Christmas or they are sitting down to a food they really enjoy, this is not a habit. It’s extremely hard for them to overcome their body’s signals that it’s time to stop eating and it does not feel good to them to do so.
People who are overweight are the opposite. They have learned to use food as a way to cope with life. Because they have engaged in this behavior so often, they have created over-desire for food.
All of these are emotional eating:
- Stress eating
- Boredom eating
- Overeating on the weekends
- Overeating for social reasons
- Overeating while out to dinner
- Overeating at holidays
- Overeating while traveling
- Overeating at work
- Overeating at night
- Eating past full at meals
Can you relate to some of these types of emotional eating?
How Do I Stop Emotional Eating?
Once you recognize your emotional eating habits, the next step is to learn to stop using food to deal with emotions.
Stopping emotional eating is not a quick once-and-done task, but it can be accomplished. For more in-depth help, check out the Faithful Finish Lines 2.0 Membership.
I found that therapy for weight loss helped me get to a deeper level of understanding to see the reasons why I overeat and how to stop.
Here is the basic strategy to end emotional eating.
- Recognize the behavior.
- Recognize the emotions that drive you to eat.
- Learn to handle emotions without using food for help.
- Eat mindfully when physical hunger arises.
How to Pray to Stop Emotional Eating
As a Christian, I believe that emotional eating is more than a physical or mental issue.
Emotional eating is a spiritual issue. God places desires for Him in the hearts of all human beings. Often, we try to fill that God-desire with other things including food.
There are lots of cliches about praying away the pounds or replacing a desire for food with a desire for God. You may feel you have already tried these things and it didn’t work. If you feel discouraged, please know that you aren’t alone. For years I prayed for God to heal me of my food and weight issues and it felt like God wasn’t hearing my prayers.
But the truth is, a Christian weight loss journey is not a once-and-done process. Instead it’s a lifetime of growing closer to the Savior as you develop fruits of the spirit that make weight loss possible.
As much as I wanted it and prayed for it, God did not miraculously cause the weight to fall off me. My desire for food did not suddenly disappear.
Along the path of my weight loss journey, God has molded and shaped me, taught me new things, and grown my faith in some joyful and some painful ways.
Use the prayer below as part of your communication with God about emotional eating.
A Prayer for Emotional Eating
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Lord, many times in my life, I’ve stuffed down my emotions with food. I’ve taken the road of eating for comfort rather than face feeling my feelings. I’m ready to turn from this sinful behavior and live in an emotionally healthy way. You are my true source of joy, comfort, and strength during life’s challenges. When I face the temptation to eat instead of feel, help me pause and say a prayer to resist the temptation. Almighty and All-Powerful God, I praise you for Your healing work in my life. Amen.
Is emotional eating getting in the way of your weight loss goals? Use this prayer to stop emotional eating and turn to God for help and strength.
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