What Drives Me to Overeat?

  • Do you overeat to soothe yourself when you are upset?
  • Have you tried to diet but always gain it back?
  • Do you feel like food is the only love you get?
  • Do you sit down to have a couple of cookies and then finish the whole box?
  • Do you obsess about food way too much?
  • Do you feel ashamed of yourself after going on a binge?
This probably means that you are overeating for psychological reasons. This quiz will help you to understand what they are, so you can work through these issues and change your eating patterns.  Your overeating may be driven by fears, defenses, and inner conflicts that you are only partially aware of, which are your psychological motivations for overeating. This quiz will help you to understand these motivations and what to do about them.
 
Of course, you also have healthy reasons for eating, but this quiz only explores the problematic motivations for your overeating.
As you look over these questions, keep in mind that a (subconscious) part of you might be afraid of something even if you aren't rationally afraid of it.

Tip: As you think about which motivations apply to you, please don’t judge yourself. It is common for our Inner Critics to use this information to make us feel bad about ourselves. They tell us that we are really screwed up, that we’ll never be happy. Don’t believe these self-attacks. Everyone has a variety of fears, needs, and other motivations underlying their behavior. You aren’t bad or pathological or inadequate because of the ones you have. If an Inner Critic is beating you up about your fears, don't take it seriously. If you can take in this new information from an open place, it will help you to see yourself more clearly.

Adopt an attitude of looking at yourself objectively and compassionately as you explore this list. This approach is enormously helpful in learning about yourself. You had to develop these patterns of defense because of the ways you may have been hurt or the type of parenting you received when you were very young and vulnerable. They aren’t your fault. Appreciate yourself for being interested in delving into this material so you can make changes in your life.

Painful emotions can come up while taking this quiz. If you need help with this, click Self-Soothing Help

If you are having trouble staying with the quiz, click here
  • Most people take between 4 and 8 minutes to complete the quiz.
  • Answer these questions to the best of your ability, without giving them a great deal of thought.
  • Write down your first reaction.
  • You must answer all the questions.
I eat to soothe a part of me that feels lonely, empty, and needy.




A part of me overeats as a way of putting off tasks I want to avoid.




A part of me is afraid that I won't get enough to eat.




I eat to soothe myself when I feel bad about myself.




I eat to soothe a part of me that feels rejected and unlovable.




A part of me eats to distract or numb myself so I don’t feel shame.




A part of me overeats so I won't be sexually attractive, and therefore I'll be safe.




A part of me eats to distract myself from feeling socially uncomfortable.




I overeat to rebel against a part of me that tries to control my eating.




A part of me eats to keep myself from getting angry.




A part of me overeats in order to keep myself in a depressed state.




A part of me overeats in order to rebel against or frustrate someone who tries to control my eating.




A part of me eats in order to please someone.




A part of me overeats as a way of attacking myself.




A part of me overeats to keep myself groggy and unaware.




A part of me wants to be overweight in order to stay loyal to my family.




A part of me overeats to keep myself from feeling my strength and being assertive.




A part of me is afraid of being rejected if I don’t eat a lot.




A part of me overeats to undermine my self-confidence, so I won’t take risks.




   ...so you can review your results or change an answer later.