Cues for overeating

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  There are a lot of reasons why we are driven to overeat. Yours will be different from other peoples. It is important to establish what your cues are, so that you can do something constructive about them.

Cues are something that gets the brain geared up to think about eating something /crave food/ crave something that is not healthy / causes you to overeat. The cues that we are concerned about are those that lead you to eat when you should not be hungry, or to eat things you know are unsuitable, or to overeat when you are full.

It is very common for emotional cues to have a physical feeling or hunger or emptiness or hollowness or some other feeling that we "fill" with food - become aware of the feeling / emotion, and make a  note of it alongside the cue.

To get you started in thinking about what your personal cues are, you will find a list below of some of the cues that others have identified for themselves.

As part of your food diary, start to identify, and write down your food cues. Bring that list with you to your next session, so that we can discuss it and where appropriate do a balance around some of them.



1.      I was driven to over eat:

 when I felt stressed (usually by work)

2.      When I made myself do something I didnít want to do

3.      When I saw other people eat

4.      When I received good news

5.      Whenever I saw food in general or passed by a food stall

6.      Whenever I saw specific types of food (which then gave rise to food cravings)

7.      Whenever I was offered food

8.      When I was in a celebration/occasion/event

9.      When I returned home

10.   When it should be time to eat, such as breakfast/lunch/dinner time

11.   When I went off track in my diet by eating something that wasnít in my ideal diet

12.   When I came across food which I had never eaten before

13.   When I felt bored

14.   When it was night time

When I eat with my family

When food sits in front of me after I have had enough

When I eat a particular food

When I feel like I won't have access to a particular food again tomorrow or in the future

When the portion on my plate is too big, I finish what is on my plate

When I am cooking and sampling the food as I go