Top 5 Best Books for Emotional Eating

I am not sure if you know that I spent years struggling with eating disorders, but I have a lot of experience in this arena.

I was bulimic, in high school, sprinkled with long bouts of anorexia, and then as an adult just became a straight out binge eater. At my heaviest, I was also a high functioning alcoholic and a compulsive shopper. All those issues take root in the same places, it’s just about which vice you choose to deal with them.

I’m glad to say, that over my journey of losing over 110 pounds, in a safe and healthy way, I have narrowed down the best emotional eating books, to these 5.

I wanted to share them with you, as well as why I choose them:

1) Food: the Good Girl’s Drug – How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings by Sunny Sea Gold. 

I love this book. When I first started it I was like “OMG THAT IS ME” about 50 times. A few chapters in, I was a little frustrated that she hadn’t told me how to FIX it yet. I was sort of like yeah I get it, I’m a mess, so what do I do now. I went through the book again, and actually did the activities at the end of each chapter and it was super eye opening. Be sure to do the work!

2) Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever by Karen R. Koenig

So many women put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. They want to eat healthy, grow their mind, have fit bodies, get a therapist, or hell just get a pedicure once in a while LOL. Instead, they make a long list of other people to take care of first. This causes resentment, then guilt, about the resentment, and it’s a vicious cycle of emotions that lead to self harm through food. I see it all the time in my clients and I know how much this book can help with those thoughts.

3) Loving What Is by Byron Katie 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we should be, how the people in our life are supposed to be, how the world could be, and so on, that we create massive turmoil in our lives. Byron Katie shows you how to shift your thinking, about situations and circumstances, to help process your emotions in a way that leads to a positive outlook and reduced tension. If the feelings aren’t there, it’s hard to eat them lol!

4) SMART Recovery 3rd Edition Handbook by Rosemary Hardin and Dr. William Abbott

This is a handbook from a addiction recovery program called SMART. It stands for Self Management Addiction Recovery Program. It covers ALL types of addictions. I loved the practical, and easy to apply, work that it gives. The sense of control it provided me was huge.

One example, was making a “trigger” that reminded you of what you wanted most. I had a bracelet made that said CLARITY on it, because after doing the work, that was what I wanted most when I thought about being sober. I wore it before going out, and it kept me from drinking. Again, this is a workbook for ALL addiction, eating disorders are covered.

5) The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

At first glance this book might seem like it doesn’t quite fit, but I have found that setting proper expectations actually helps keep people from emotionally eating. I love that he breaks down every aspect of our lives, food, fitness, finances, relationships, etc. and how our small choices add up. It’s shift of thinking for sure, and I feel like this book is universally helpful to have a better life.

Honorary Mention: I have not yet read, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food, but it comes HIGHLY recommended.

While books are never a replacement for in depth therapy, they are an amazing way to keep moving your mind forward, and changing your thought patterns, so you can find new ways of dealing with your emotions, and have the freedom a healthy life brings!

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