WTF Does It Mean To Be A Food Empath – And Will It Affect Your Weight?

Does someone's negative vibes send you straight to the cookie jar?


Women's Health |

If a friend’s negative vibes send you directly to the sweets jar, you may be a food empath. So, what now? Psychiatrist Dr Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, explains.

What’s an empath, exactly? And a food empath?

Empaths are sensitive, intuitive people who are emotional sponges, taking on the feelings of those around them. A food empath seeks comfort from others’ negative energies by overeating or eating highly pleasurable foods. If, when you’re feeling overwhelmed by other people’s feelings and find yourself in need of carbs, sugar or salt to feel better, you may be a food empath. If uncontrolled, this could lead to serious weight gain.

READ MORE: This Is Why ‘Comfort Eating’ Is A Bad Idea For Your Mental Health

But don’t we all eat more when we’re stressed?

The difference is that a food empath doesn’t turn to food only when they feel sad or have a busy day. It’s about other people: They may be triggered by a grumpy coworker just as much as by a packed social schedule that drains their energy.

READ MORE: 8 Signs You Have Anxiety That’s Messing With Your Life

Any way to protect yourself?

An important tool is alone time—if you’re emotionally overwhelmed, try to quiet everything for at least five minutes (no noise, bright lights, or Internet) and take deep breaths to recover from sensory overload. That way you won’t need to reach for food as armour. Exercise is also key for empaths, since it physically releases tension and negativity.

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