Grief and Overeating

By: Powers Funeral Home
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Directors of funeral homes in Lugoff, SC. understand that mourning the loss a loved one is challenging as the grief we experience can be overwhelming. To help manage this grief and the feelings that come with it, people may turn to different outlets and activities. Some people may try and stay incredibly busy so to keep the focus off of their grief, while others may look for creative ways such as journaling or painting. While some of these ways may be healthy, other ways may be not. 

One very common unhealthy way people try and deal with their grief is by overeating. This can be for a couple of reasons. First, some people are by nature, stress eaters. Food is what they tend to turn to when they start experiencing feelings such as stress or anxiety. Eating calms them down and gives them something to do other than focusing on their stress.  

Another reason people may overeat and turn to food when they are grieving is because food tends to represent love and good times to many people. When there is a big celebration such as Thanksgiving or a birthday, food is typically a big part of the event. Eating while grieving can bring people comfort and feelings of love.  

Although turning to food is understandable, it is not a healthy way to manage stress and can lead to some very unwanted side effects such as mood disorders, fatigue, unwanted weigh gain, low self-esteem, and an increase in health risks. If you find yourself struggling with this activity, here are some tips to help you stop. 

  • Know Your Triggers - Do you find yourself overeating when you are sitting down to watch TV at night? Maybe it’s when you begin feeling stressed dealing with your loved one’s accounts or estate. Understanding what is making you want to overeat can help you manage it.  
  • Ask Yourself If You Are Really Hungry - Before you reach for the bag of cookies, ask yourself if you are really physically hungry or just eating emotionally.  Nine times out of ten, it is your emotions driving this craving. Taking time to pause and evaluate your feelings can help deter your from overeating. 
  • Find Something Else to Do - Come up with another activity you can do when you feel like eating. This could be staying busy by working in your garden or go for a walk or run.  
  • Get Professional Help - If you feel as if your overeating may be too much for you to handle alone, reach out and get help. There are trained professionals out there that deal in this exact issue. Don’t try to do this on your own, you have enough to deal with; let a professional help you.  

Dealing with the loss of your loved one can bring on intense feelings of stress and anxiety. From making arrangements with funeral homes in Lugoff, SC, to coping with the loss, it can all feel overwhelming. If you tend to turn to food to bring you comfort, you need to be very aware that it could lead to overeating in this situation. Don’t worry though. As long as you are aware of your triggers, turn your focus to something else other than food, and seek professional help if you need it, you can get through this difficult time.

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