Are you an emotional eater?

To get an idea of your emotional eating tendencies look at the statements printed below and check the statements that are true for you:

____ 1. When I am feeling “down” or “blue” a little snack will lift my mood.

____ 2. When I’m depressed I have more desire to eat.

____ 3. If someone disappoints me I want to eat something.

____ 4. When I am pressured or working under a deadline I have the urge to snack.

____ 5. I eat more when I am stressed than when I am calm.

____ 6. If I am worried or afraid of something I tend to eat.

____ 7. Sometimes when people irritate me I want to get something to eat.

____ 8. I have had something to eat “just to teach him/her a lesson”.

____ 9. When I get angry, eating will make me feel better.

____ 10. I look forward to eating something when I’m bored.

____ 11. I eat more than usual when there is nothing to do.

____ 12. If time is passing slowly, I look forward to having a snack.

____ 13. Being alone increases my appetite.

____ 14. I am less likely to eat when other people are around as I am when I’m by myself.

____ 15. Eating makes me feel better when I am lonely.

____ 16. I celebrate with food when I’m in a good mood.

____ 17. If I’m feeling really good, I don’t worry about my diet.

____ 18. When I’m happy, having a favorite snack makes me feel even better.

These statements are examples of the most common types of emotional eating: depressed eating (items 1 – 3), anxiety/stress eating (4 – 6), angry eating (7 – 9), bored eating (10 – 12), lonely eating (13 – 15), and happy eating (16 – 18). Reviewing your responses to these statements should give you a general idea of your emotional eating tendencies.  For guidelines to help you get a more precise assessment of your patterns see Chapter 2 in Emotional Eating: What You Need to Know Before Starting Another Diet.  Once you know the specifics of your emotional eating you will be able to develop a plan to deal with your emotions without using food.