Last Updated on April 11, 2023 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 the number one roadblock my clients encounter when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. My 30-day Back On Track Program for women after bariatric surgery involves building a solid nutrition foundation after surgery. This includes learning how to overcome 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 LIFe members‘ 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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!
Founder of LIFe – Lose It Forever
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