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How can I manage anxiety without binge eating?

Dear Manzanaroja psychologist,

My name is Valentina and I am 27 years old. my life has changed completely for about a year. There have been a series of events that have completely changed my lifestyle.

During this year I managed to lose about 10 kg, I weighed 77/78 kg and now I reached 67/66 kg. I haven’t followed a particular diet, but my habits have changed and I think stress has had a big influence. In this period of time, I came back home (I was studying in another city), I finished university, I started working, I broke up after 5 years of engagement, I passed the final exam, I came out of a period of depression, I find myself alone because my friends are far away and I have serious problems at home. Let’s say there has been a series of positive and negative events that have destabilized me completely.

Right now I am trying to mend the pieces of my life, but I am facing many difficulties. Sometimes, in moments of sadness, I take refuge in foodI eat so much that I feel like I’m going to explode. For some strange reason, the weight is still 67/66 kg, but I realize that these Binge (which occur mainly in the afternoon and at night, or when I am at home) are not at all positive for my body. During meals I eat regularly and healthily, but when I have anxiety attacks, can’t sleep at night and have very low spirits, I open the fridge and I devour anything that I find in front of me. Could you kindly give me some advice? How can I avoid these binges?

I’m terrified of gaining weight, but at the same time I can’t stop these hunger pangs.

I thank you immensely.


Dear Valentina, wow, how many changes in the last year! It is understandable that you Body and your psyche have had and continue to try to restructure itself to find a new balance. Unfortunately, however, the Binge or those counterproductive, repetitive and uncontrolled behaviors apparently directed at the emotional regulation They only make your anguish worse causing guilt and shame and establishing a dangerous vicious circle.

You can start to handle things differently situations in which you feel the risk of binge eating, using these instruments:


There are some situations in which you may be especially at risk of overeating, and learning to recognize them can be very helpful.

Let’s see what they are:

– Situations in which you experience negative emotions: Anger, anxiety, loneliness, a strong argument, can often cause you to eat too much.

– Situations in which you experience positive emotions: you might find yourself in a situation where «you celebrate” with foodgood news, vacation or a joyful meeting.

touching moments: a pleasant evening with lifelong friends, where there are food offers and the mere fact of seeing them makes you give in, even if you are not hungry.

irresistible desire for food: Due to the diet rigidity you can more easily fall into temptation. better one balance dietwith at least 5 meals a day, than a very strict diet, which cannot be carried without being constantly hungry.

Counterproductive Thoughts: Thoughts like “when I’m stressed, I absolutely have to eat something” or the like lead to losing control and overeating.

When you are in any of these situations you can find alternative activities to help you divert attention from food to something else.
Do you want to know how?

You must prepare:
– a to do list (for example, call a friend, read a book, take a shower, go for a walk…)
– a list of things to think about (for example, it will soon pass, I can do it, hunger is not an emergency…)


Remember that an alternative activity will be effective if:

  • makes you pass the time
  • possibly it’s nice
  • Makes access to food difficult

Now you have a series of useful information to better manage your relationship with food.
I invite you to try to put into practice the 3 indications that I have just suggested.

However, if after a while you realize that you cannot get out of this problem, Valentina, I invite you to contact a psychotherapist to help you work, first of all, on self-esteem and on all aspects that hinder your mood and your weight loss.

Good luck darling!

Floriana Ventura, psychologist from Manzanaroja

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