Something is eating you and it’s making you fat!

What’s eating you?

How is it making you fat?

What can you do about it?

What if it can’t be stopped?

What monster is in your gut right now demanding you feed it?

There’s no monster in your gut demanding to be fed. The monster isn’t in your gut, it’s in your head. Don’t bother clicking on the links you see on the side of your Facebook that is freaking you out by showing a grotesque image of your stomach being consumed by a ravaging, internal monster.


When something is eating at your mind, are you turning to food to cope? It’s a common, although unsatisfactory solution. Many people who operate under constant stress experience a strong, overwhelming need to eat.


Emotional eating isn’t a habit of women only. Men, women, and children alike may turn to highly palatable food to cope with stress or emotions.


The foods most people turn to when under pressure are not fruit and vegetables; they typically are foods high in fat, sugar and salt. They’re the foods we are told we shouldn’t be eating because they make us sick and fat. That only increases stress and makes us feel even more out of control because we know we shouldn’t eat those foods, but we do. 

We eat a lot of them!

An assortment of foods that are more likely to be eaten to deal with stress than fruit and vegetables.

An assortment of foods that are more likely to be eaten to deal with stress than fruit and vegetables.

When something is eating at you, the way to fight back isn’t by eating. The way to fight back is to address the source of the stress.

Remove or reduce the stress when possible. We tend to get stressed over things we can’t control. We stress over things that will never happen. We stress over events that will come to a resolution without our interference or influence. We need to recognize these kinds of stressful events and let them go.

Sorting the causes of our stress into “within my control” and “out of my control” can help get stress eating under control. The problem may be, however, that even though we recognize the cause of our stress is out of our control and we can’t affect the outcome, we cannot let go of the stress it causes. Instead of letting go of the stress, knowing the outcome is out of our hands we stress more!

We need to find healthy ways to cope with stress. Stress beating strategies include:

  • Build your food choices on good-for-you foods you enjoy.
  • Get or stay active. Enjoy a variety of physical activities you enjoy daily.
  • Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep in every 24-hour period.
  • Say “no” when you need to. It’s not your job to be the one to do everything for everybody no matter how reasonable or unreasonable the request. Give yourself a break.
  • Get support by sharing your problems and feelings. If you’re having difficulty managing your eating consider joining a support group such as Weight Watchers meetings.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may present themselves to you as solutions. Watch out! They usually make problems larger, not go away.

Do not add to your stress by believing the overstated, misguiding websites telling you that you have leaky guts and a yeast monster demanding “feed me!”

You don’t need some bad-tasting, time-consuming detox diet. Your body can detox itself and you don’t have to give up eating anything you enjoy or start eating/drinking things you don’t enjoy.

What’s eating you and making you fat isn’t in your gut, but it could be in your head. Address your thinking to control your belly!


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.