If you struggle with emotional eating, or you find yourself running to food in times of stress, I can assure you that you are not alone. In fact, in many ways our society celebrates running to food to cope with emotions!
If you feel that you are lost in a vicious cycle of emotional eating, there is hope. In fact, I can speak from personal experience when I tell you that you can be free from all bondage from any food related strongholds. Not only do I know this personally, but the bible tells us that in Jesus we can have freedom in every area of our lives, but ultimately we are the ones that decide if we are going to walk in that freedom, (1 Peter 2:16).
I have found that freedom often exists in its fullness when we run to God and allow Him to help us spiritually, but we also do our part physically. This is what I am referring to when I say that there is a 'spiritual and physical' side to things. When it comes to emotional eating for example, we have a choice to walk away and say no to temptation, and to run to God instead of food, and to which is us doing our part (the physical). And when we go to God, He will comfort us, love on us, and empower us to overcome the emotional battle we are facing (the spiritual).
Spiritually speaking, we can overcome emotional eating by allowing the Holy Spirit to change our mindset in this area. All we have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to show us when we are about to eat out of feelings of stress or emotion, (The bible tells us that God gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide, who will lead us into all truth, John 16:13). The Holy Spirit is our helper, and when you ask Him to help you with something, or show you something, you can have peace and faith knowing that He is working on your behalf to help you.
I have also found that it helps me personally to ask for the Holy Spirit gives me that little 'nudge' that I am about to eat when I am not even hungry, or out of emotion. I then physically make the choice to remove myself from the kitchen, which is ultimately removing myself from that place of temptation. Next, I usually start praying, asking God to help me to operate in the fruits of the spirit, love, joy peace, self control. If the temptation is not going away immediately, I start to speak the Word of God out loud, which is how Jesus resisted temptation when He was tested, (Matthew 4:1-11). When we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil with the Word of God, we have a promise that he must flee from us, (James 4:7).
On the physical side of things, I suggest finding some activities that allow you to unwind, that don't relate to food. There is nothing wrong with eating when you are truly hungry, and enjoying treats in moderation...However, if you are finding that you are eating out of emotions, or you are using food as a way to cope or to relax, you truly do want to break free from that, and Jesus can and will help you do that when you turn to Him!
Here are some resources that may help you in on your journey!