Books About Emotional Eating

Books About Emotional Eating

Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by Kayla

As a Registered Dietitian and Bariatric Coach, I’m frequently asked for my top book recommendations on emotional eating. Today, I’m sharing my favorite emotional eating books to help you learn to soothe without food, so you can start seeing results for good.

Emotional eating is one of the number one roadblocks for losing weight and keeping it off for good. My women’s bariatric community emphasizes building a solid nutrition foundation after weight loss surgery. This includes learning how to balance blood sugar and overcome habits like emotional eating.

Everyone is an emotional eater

If you struggle with emotional eating, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, eating your feelings is more common than you think, as some research shows that 75% of eating stems from emotions!

As humans, we eat when we’re happy, sad, and mad. We eat to feel good and continue eating to keep the good feelings going.

Unfortunately, isolation and anxiety related to the pandemic didn’t help our circumstances.

Over the past three years, more people turned to food for comfort with 42% reporting undesirable weight gain averaging 29 pounds per person – 2x the ‘Quarantine 15.’

Books on Emotional Eating

If you’re looking for healthy coping mechanisms that don’t involve food, I’ve rounded up my top books on emotional eating, including a few member favorite reads.

For more on how to distinguish and satisfy emotional cravings, check out my blog post on emotional eating: Emotional vs. Physical Hunger. 

First up is the first book I read about emotional eating. A college professor turned me onto Michelle May’s work which fueled my passion for helping women overcome the mental tug of war with food and conflicting nutrition recommendations.

Eat What You Love Love What You Eat
by Michelle May, MD

Books on emotional eating

Dr. May does an excellent job of providing actionable advice to break free from the Eat–Repent–Repeat cycle. She also has an adapted version for binge eating.

Weight Loss Surgery Does Not Treat Food Addiction
by Connie Stapleton, PhD

Bariatric books

For a surgery-specific read, Stapleton offers a unique perspective on food compulsions, weaving in her personal encounters with addiction and experience working with bariatric patients.

The Intuitive Eating Workbook
by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN

Books about emotional eating

If you like a hands-on reading experience, this workbook is a fantastic way to explore and improve your relationship with food.

Filled with activities, worksheets, and self-discovery exercises, this book is therapist-recommended and provides an interactive way to work through Tribole & Resch’s 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. 

Member Favorites

One of my favorite parts about nutrition coaching is swapping book recommendations with my members. Here are two client favorites on emotional eating.

Hungry for More
by Adrienne Youdim, MD

Emotional eating books

This book combines stories and science to help inspire weight loss from the inside out. Dr. Youdim also has a podcast, Health Bites, which is highly recommended by my bariatric therapist friend, Lora Grabow, LMSW.

I’ll Start Again Monday
by Lysa TerKeurst

Books on emotional eating.

For a spiritual spin on healing your relationship with food. TerKeurst shares how your walk with God can help close the door on emotional eating.

Words from the Wise

Emotional eating is like double-dipping on bad mood.

Glenn Mackintosh, psychologist and author of Thinsanity

This is hands-down my favorite quote about emotional eating. As a Registered Dietitian, I often joke that my real title should be ‘food therapist,’ and I would argue that everyone is an emotional eater to a certain degree — some more than others.

What can get a person into trouble, though, is chronically eating to cope with stress, loneliness, or joy, to name a few of the ‘feels.’

My personal crutch is what I like to call ‘procrasti-snacking,’ or eating instead of doing something productive… Delaying the inevitable work that needs to be done, as if eating will make me feel better. But this feeling is only temporary.

Regardless, I hope you’ve filled your Amazon cart or wishlist with books to help you along your journey. For more of my favorite nutrition-related and self-development books, check out my Amazon storefront.  

For more help or coaching to help overcome emotional eating or find your way after bariatric surgery, send me a message, and let’s chat!

Yours truly,

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Helping women after bariatric surgery lose weight without eating “perfect.” Learn how to balance blood sugar & optimize your “tool” today! Apply to learn more!

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