S2 – 9: How to Heal Emotional Eating with Tricia Nelson

Welcome to The Betty Rocker Show, the place to be to nourish your mind, love your body, and rock your life.

My guest today is Tricia Nelson, an Emotional Eating expert and the author of the #1 bestselling book, “Heal Your Hunger- 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now.”

Tricia herself lost fifty pounds by identifying and healing the underlying causes of her emotional eating, and has spent over thirty years researching the hidden causes of the addictive personality.

She’s the host of the popular podcast, “The Heal Your Hunger Show” (you can listen to my interview with her right here) and is a highly regarded speaker who has been featured on NBC, CBS, KTLA, FOX and Discovery Health.

One of the things we’re talking about today is that we are all emotional eaters – on different ends of a spectrum. I’m curious to hear about your own experience with this, if you have struggled with it, overcome it, or are coming to terms with it. Be sure to check in with me in the comments section about this, and with any questions you have!


From her site:

“Excessive sugar consumption is a major cause of health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It has also been proven to contribute to belly fat, depression, migraines, poor eyesight, and premature aging.

Getting free from the vice-grip of sugar isn’t as hard as you might think. Getting support as you begin your journey will make it much easier. There are also many delicious, sugar-free alternatives to the foods you love, and great recipes that will make you happy as you nourish your body.

You deserve to feel good and look good, and kicking the sugar habit will help you do both!”



In This Episode You’ll Discover:

Meet Tricia Nelson [0:36]

What does being an emotional eater mean? (1:46)

  • Why we use food for reasons beyond nutritional needs
  • The subconscious drive behind emotional eating
  • Tricia’s story and what was different with her eating
  • The negative feelings that came from her yo-yo weight gain
  • The cycle that drives emotional eating
  • Why a diet won’t fix emotional eating
  • Why a diet initially feels like it’s working

How can you tell if you’re eating emotionally or eating normally? (7:18)

  • The internal dialogue that helps
  • The benefit of regular meal times
  • Tricia’s “3-meal magic” strategy
  • How skipping meals and strategies like intermittent fasting can create more disordered eating
  • The self check in that goes along with 3 meal magic
  • How snacking contributes to weight gain
  • What the self-check in can reveal that might help you avoid emotional eating

Intermittent fasting and how to approach it as a woman (10:29)

  • The trap of skipping meals
  • A great way to use IF as a woman
  • The importance of the quality of your meals
  • The most satisfying nutrient (and the one we need to be including in each meal)
  • Why we need more protein as we age
  • Thinking about maximizing the 3 main meals you’re eating
  • Timing your eating around your training if you’re active

Berry Green Protein by Whole Betty from Betty Rocker [12:47]

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Why does eating often feel so hard? [15:05]

  • Is feeling “hangry” the perfect storm of emotional eating?
  • The breaks between main meals and how that serves us mentally and physically
  • How we can begin to recognize our emotions in between our meals
  • The benefit of tuning into ourselves and building emotional intelligence
  • Identifying, feeling, and processing emotions
  • Why we associate comfort foods with feeling states

Tools to empower us in coping with emotional eating [18:12]

  • A morning routine and the foundation this provides
  • Centering activities and ideas
  • The concept of deposits and withdrawals in our spiritual bank account
  • How these practices support you in dealing with stress throughout the day
  • Afternoon and evening activities that can support you
  • Sneaky ways that emotional eating sneaks in
  • Great tips to help us reset in non food-related ways

Is there a difference between addiction and emotional eating? [22:15]

  • The spectrum of emotional eating
  • Emotional eating vs. food addiction
  • The Emotional Eater vs. Food Addict Quiz
  • What informs where you are on the spectrum
  • The consequences of long-term emotional eating and dieting

How does addiction show up in people with emotional eating? [25:53]

  • Tricia’s personal example of her alcohol addiction and sugar addiction and how they are connected
  • The dopamine hit from shopping, porn and other pleasurable activities
  • The increased sensitivity that came from withdrawal from the activity
  • Tricia’s example of “medicating her feelings”
  • Why swapping addictions can be typical

What is at the root cause of addictive cycles? [29:34]

  • Are there issues within ourselves that need deeper work?
  • Unresolved trauma may be at the root of addictive cycles
  • Chronic struggles with addictive behavior may be rooted in trauma
  • Tricia’s personal story and share about childhood sexual abuse
  • How Tricia’s research and self-healing has informed her powerful work

The “anatomy of the emotional eater” from the Heal Your Hunger book [32:48]

  • Why people pleasing shows up in some emotional eaters
  • How coping strategies from childhood translate into adult life
  • The need for validation and the negative cycle that sets up
  • How resentment results from people pleasing
  • How these traits drive the justification for emotional eating
  • Tricia’s book: “Heal Your Hunger- 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now.“
  • Setting boundaries, people pleasing and speaking up for yourself for women
  • Uncovering the root cause of emotional eating can help you live a more fulfilling life
  • How we can see opportunities in all of our challenges

This Week’s Challenge(s) [40:16]

Try 3 meal magic for 3 days.

This can help you observe your relationship with food, and how often you have impulses to unconsciously get something to eat.


Connect with Tricia Nelson [56:51]

  • Tricia’s website
  • The Emotional Eater vs. Food Addict Quiz
  • Tricia’s book: “Heal Your Hunger- 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now.“
  • Tricia’s podcast
  • Tricia on Instagram
  • Tricia on Facebook
  • Tricia’s private support group on Facebook: The Secret Sauce to End Emotional Eating

Coming up next:  Coming up in our next episode, I’m talking to the founder of the Man UNcivilized movement, Traver Boehm. He’s the author of the books “Today I Rise,” and “Man UNcivilized” as well as a two time TEDx speaker, men’s coach and podcaster. I really appreciate the work he’s doing, and I thought you might be interested to hear this conversation, especially if you have men in your life who you love and want to share great tools and resources with.

In my own personal journey, learning more about how other people think has helped me uplevel my communication skills, deepen my empathy and understanding, and connect more meaningfully with others. I really love learning different perspectives and points of view, and I think you’ll find Traver’s work very insightful. I’ve given his book to several friends and family members, and enjoy hearing his take on many things.

This upcoming episode does have some swearing in it so if this is offensive to you, this may not be an episode you’ll enjoy.


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Author: Leta Peters