The Scoop on Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, and Overeating: What’s the Difference?

The difference between binge eating, emotional eating, and overeating

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Ever found yourself in a food frenzy, asking, “Am I binge eating, overeating, or is it just emotional eating?” I get it; I’ve been there. Let’s break it down, so you can finally make sense of your food choices:

Binge Eating

Binge eating is like a food tornado caused by unmet physical, social, or emotional needs. It’s not about how much you eat but more about how you eat. Imagine chowing down like there’s no tomorrow, barely savoring a bite, feeling completely disconnected from your body, and going until you’re about to burst. Then, BAM! You’re hit with a truckload of shame and guilt.

Solution? To conquer binge eating, start by figuring out what needs aren’t being met, whether they’re physical, social, or emotional, and make them a priority. Healing is key, friends.

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is all about using food to deal with your feelings, whether they’re happy or sad. It’s like your personal emotional support menu. When you’re upset, you might grab that tub of ice cream to soothe yourself. But when you’re over the moon, it’s time to celebrate with a slice of cake.

How to handle it: When it comes to emotional eating, the trick is to find other ways to manage your emotions. Food doesn’t have to be your only go-to.


Let’s be real, we all overeat sometimes because, well, food is darn delicious. It’s a part of being human. Maybe you let yourself get a bit too hungry, and then your body’s like, “Feed me!” So, you oblige. It happens to the best of us.

What’s the solution? To conquer overeating, it’s all about listening to your body. Reconnect with those hunger and fullness cues it’s sending your way.

How to tackle overeating: Reconnect with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.


Here’s the deal: it’s not your eating habits or the food that’s the problem. It’s all about your mindset, unmet needs, body image, and the way you think about food. Instead of stressing about what’s on your plate, start thinking about why you’re eating in the first place. Your happiness and well-being should always come first. So, go ahead, embrace your food journey, and remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Enjoy your eats and nourish your soul!

Must Read Books To Improve Your Relationship With Food 

Just so you know, I do review everything I recommend. When you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission.

Intuitive Eating by Elise Resch and Evelyn Tribole 

When it was first published, Intuitive Eating was revolutionary in its anti-dieting approach. The authors, both prominent health professionals in the field of nutrition and eating disorders, urge readers to embrace the goal of developing body positivity and reconnecting with one’s internal wisdom about eating―to unlearn everything they were taught about calorie-counting and other aspects of diet culture and to learn about the harm of weight stigma.

Health At Every Size by Lindo Bacon

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem. The solution? Health at Every Size. Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison

In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it’s infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat “perfectly” actually helps to improve people’s health—no matter their size. Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.

Just Eat It by Laura Thomas

With a perfect blend of scientific expertise and relatable anecdotes, the author dismantles societal myths around food and body image. Through practical advice, self-reflection exercises, and a touch of humor, Thomas equips readers with the tools to break free from the cycle of diet culture, promoting self-love and nourishment. This book is an essential companion for anyone seeking to redefine their approach to food, fostering a positive and sustainable lifestyle.

Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

Are You Ready to Heal Your Relationship With Food? 

I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:

Why Am I Overeating?

First Steps To Stop Binge Eating 

The Food Freedom Lab Podcast




the food freedom lab podcast

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.