Why do I overeat? Some things to think about…

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Ice cream. Peanut butter cookies. A giant bag of Sour Patch Kids. Waffles. Toast with butter.

What do all of these things have in common?

My belly.

Where they all wound up.

In. My. Belly.

I would like to say that I have my food in check 90% of the time, however, this past Tuesday was a blip in the radar.

Why am I telling you this? I’m the trainer, the coach, why would I be revealing such behavior when this is the sort of stuff that I’m paid to help other people with?

Well, one, I’m human.  And two, it was a big learning lesson for me, and if it has helped me, I don’t want to keep my mouth shut, because it means that it could potentially help you.

To say that I consumed a copious amount of food this day would be a vast understatement. When I say I ate my face off, I mean, I ate my face off.

I’m serious, I actually bit my tongue pretty hard while I was scarfing down the Sour Patch Kids.

It still hurts.

A massive sugar craving tsunami hit me this day, which was quite out of the blue.

Or was it?

I feel grateful that I have never struggled with an eating disorder, or body-image issues, so to have a binge day like I did was out of the ordinary for me. However, I work with many clients and hear from readers who do suffer from eating disorders, and body-image issues and thus this experience brought me a little closer to the heart’s of these women.

It got me to start thinking about why this happened and what triggers could have led up to it.  Rather than beating myself up, I decided to take a more proactive approach and to investigate, if any, emotional triggers could have led to this, I had to ask myself, why do I overeat?

And wouldn’t it be fitting, that I had a consultation today with a client who struggles with periods of overeating followed by deprivation. I suggested to her, what I did for myself, and that was to do some investigation.

I find that most episodes of overeating tend to be unconscious, meaning there’s not much thought that goes into it.  It’s almost as if it’s a instinctual reaction to get full.

Just as if we are hard-wired to run if an angry dog is chasing us, I find that eating, or over-eating has become just as instinctual when faced with stress.

Knowing that, I suggested to my client to do an inventory of her life, and start to notice if there are certain triggers to her overeating.

Is it hormonal? Time of month? Does it revolve around your school work, around exams or presentations? Does it happen when you don’t get enough sleep?

From an energetic stand-point I have something in mind that could help explain bouts of overeating.  Yes, when we overeat it could be a physiological reason, like having low blood sugar.

However, I want to take a metaphorical perspective here and hypothesize that over-filling our belly’s with food is another way of keeping us grounded, of re-centering ourselves if our energy is feeling frazzled, or drained.

For instance, if you are giving all of your energy away to other people, it leaves us feeling empty, hallow even.  And in order to regain that feeling of “fullness” rather than restoring our natural energy, we turn to food to give us a sense of wholeness, of being “full”.

What I find is that overeating may give us a temporary feeling of heaviness, but since our energy levels are still drained, we haven’t solved our problem.

The fullness we feel from overeating can temporarily fill energy voids, but also helps us feel more connected to the earth since we are heavier, and thus weigh heavier to the ground.

This helps us feel more connected since we are feeling pretty disconnected from having zero energy.

So, if you find that you overeat, think about this:

What triggers led up to this? It could anything, a change in sleep, a change in environment, a stressor, an exam, being late for work, really any sort of stressor. Do some investigation and see what you find.

Are you feeling energetically drained?  Are you giving more than your receiving? Are you giving in an attempt to receive love?

Do you feel frazzled, or all over the place? Is the food giving you a sense of grounding? Is it helping you feel more connected to your body? (because when you’re full, you really feel it).

These are just some questions for you to think about, to investigate.  There is no right or wrong answer, just a jumping off point for you to play around with.


11 Responses

  1. Hi Sirena,

    I guarantee, if you incorporate animal fats into your 3 meals per day, you will immediately feel sated and not have one bing eating or craving attack, regardless of what is going on in your brain.

    Your body is starving for animal fat and instead of giving it some, we pile in the snacks made from corrupt vegetable oils.

    Abandon all vegetable oils (except for coconut oil) that you use for cooking, as they are corrupt due to processing and become more corrupt when heated. Even snack foods, breads and cakes these days are made (baked or cooked) with corrupt vegetable oils, therefore these snack foods are corrupt too.

    So read the labels on the foods you wish to eat.

    I guarantee that you won’t even crave these foods IF you incorporate animal fats in your 3 meals per day. You might just end up eating only 2 meals per day bcos you will be so sated, AND you will lose weight.

    **** Read: Praise the Lard – Toronto Life Magazine, Dec 2012 issue:

    Page 2 has the real message of the article.


    I know of what I speak. I have suffered from crippling IBS and Fibromyalgia for many years. Nothing and I mean nothing is curing the problem. I want cures. I’m done with holistic band-aides.

    Last week I came across the GAPS Diet. Great web site. Loads of info in the side bar. She promotes this diet for Autistic Children. I have read comments on many different boards from people with various illnesses, who have been on this GAPS diet and have found great healing relief, so I figured I better investigate what it’s all about.

    Animal bone stock soup is the healing key. Why, bcos it has what you have posted about. Animal Gelatine, along with other healing goodies.

    This type of Animal Gelatine (even the granular one you talked about) heals the Mucosal lining, which is imperative for healing of the gut. NOT vegetable gelatine, no matter what the vegetarian police have to say.

    When the gut is healed and the intestinal flora restored, then the body can heal and as an added bonus, weight loss.

    Long story short, after reading thoroughly all the side bar tabs on the GAPS Diet website, I finally realized that the avoidance of animal fats, including butter and strictly using corrupt vegetable oils for cooking/frying are the reason so many people today have health issues and or suffer from obesity.

    **** Read: GAPS DIET


    Oh, and one more thing is necessary for optimal health and weight loss……. UNPASTEURIZED HONEY!

    Yep, you can lose weight by drinking a glass of honey water. DO NOT USE HOT LIQUIDS as it destroys the good guys in it.

    **** Read: Health Benefits of Honey

    Click on side bar tab: Honey Weight Loss


    Thank you Sirena for educating me on animal gelatine and the best place to buy the grass fed animal version of it. When one is healing the body, the better the ingredients, the faster the health will return.

    I will buy some today! It’s a lot easier than boiling all those soup bones all the time.

    Animal Fats are making a comeback. And rightly so! They have been given a very bad wrap by the greedy vegetable oil companies all these 30 yrs. out of pure greed.

    Even the food scientist that helped promote that vegetable oil lie, used LARD at home!

  2. Hi Serena, this is an interesting connection. I recognize that I spend so much time up in my head, thinking, processing information, making decisions and that I lack grounding rituals. So the idea that food is grounding… yeah dah! I’ve done this off and on for years and right now I’m at my heaviest again. Now that’s only about 15lbs over my “happy” weight but with your insight, I can see some of what drives me eating binges. Golly, I had one last night with Goldfish crackers. I “consciously” decided to just stuff my mouth full of them after a day of moving, starting to unpack, being in two places at once. I ate a ton of carbs all day. :-). Thankfully today is a new day. I’m going to focus on moving slowly, resting, and unpacking slowly… Thanks for connecting with me at http://www.gaygirldatingcoach.com. I really like what I’m reading here and look forward to being in touch.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience. I, like you, spend a great deal of time in my head as well, so I can totally relate with you.

      It’s interesting you mention that you are moving, which is a sure way to feel “ungrounded”! I’ve had clients who experience similar things when they are traveling, or changing locations. You are literally, “uprooting” yourself.

      Sending you love and energy today to help you feel grounded, rested, and in the moment. Can’t wait to chat more 🙂

      Best always,


  3. I can give you a BIG trigger. Came down with a cold 2 days ago and CRAVE carbohydrates. I’ve noticed this in previous years and now have submitted it to my truth’s of overeating.

    1. Kirsty – the carb cravings from being sick are natural. Your body is under a lot of stress and when that happens, you need carbs, hence the cravings.

      Get plenty of rest and love my dear 🙂

  4. I can really identify with this post… I went through a cycle of overeating every time I was at home alone without plans on a weekend night. I realized that I was filling myself with food because I felt like I should have plans and didn’t. It was my way to feel satisfied, but I always felt guilty and embarrassed when I finished. Now on weekend nights, if I don’t have plans, I make a date with the gym to keep myself busy and productive. I shared this on my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/sofitandsoclean. Thank you Sirena! XOXO -Julia

    1. Hi Julia,

      Thank you so much for commenting here and sharing your struggles. It seems like you found an alternative that is “feeding” you in another way.

      I love that you shared the post, we should chat sometime!

      Keep rockin’ 🙂

      Much love,


  5. I LOVE this!! First of all, Bravo that’s some seriouse chowing down! I’ve been thinking some of these thoughts as to why I crave or want to eat a lot of crap at certain times. Particularly because I’m at a good weight right now and couldn’t be more blessed in life. So why do I sometimes want to eat “my face off??” I’ve been curious over the last month on what may be triggering these thoughts as I feel I’ve made real progress with my battle of the yo/yo. When you said “we give so much we feel empty” my gut literally checked itself. I have often been more inclined to eat after I have spent hours upon hours investing in my clients. I literally take myself to the point of exhaustion so that they are not dissapointed. After the deals are diner feel satisfied but empty.
    Lots to think about with this blog! Thank you for sharing and eating!

    1. Hi Steph!

      Great to hear from you. Yeah, it was a serious feast for sure, my tummy paid for it the next day lol.

      That’s great that you are in a good place right now, you have been working very hard on yourself and that’s wonderful, keep it up.

      Also great that you recognized one of your triggers. Since you work with clients throughout the day, it’s easy to get drained, so be mindful of your energy in/energy out and start incorporating some mindfulness at the end of you day.

      Here are some techniques that might help you: http://www.sirenabernal.com/how-to-prevent-burnout/

      In the meantime keep up the great work!

      Much love,


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