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The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Unmet Emotional Needs

Unmet emotional needs often underlie non-hunger-based eating. Our basic emotional needs include:

– feeling secure

– feeling loved, nurtured, cared for

– feeling valued, appreciated, worthy

– having a sense of meaning or purpose in our lives

– receiving attention, affection

– feeling heard, acknowledged, validated

– having a sense of control over our lives

– feeling a sense of freedom or independence

– feeling connected to others, that we are included

– feeling that we are accepted for who we are

– having a sense of competence or achievement

– having a feeling of status or prestige

– feeling admired or approved of

– feeling that we are helpful to others

– feeling that we are productive, capable or useful

– feeling that we are respected

– having privacy in our lives

– feeling that we are being sufficiently challenged

– feeling that we are needed

– feeling supported and understood

– feeling that we are trusted, and that we can trust others

– feeling that we are being treated fairly

– having a feeling of comfort or reassurance

– feeling a sense of gratitude


What are the unmet emotional needs that you are seeking to resolve or fulfill by engaging in non-hunger-based eating?

Most people emerge from childhood with unmet emotional needs. Many expect their significant other to meet those needs, creating difficulties for their adult relationships. It’s important to reflect on and be aware of your unmet emotional needs, both from childhood and in adulthood.

Grieving what we didn’t have – and will never have – is a painful process and one that we often avoid by engaging in non-hunger-based eating  – or in other unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. But it’s a necessary process, in order to be able to let go and move on.

The challenge for all of us is to find healthy ways of fulfilling our unmet emotional needs. For example, when we are needing to feel valued or appreciated we can do something for ourselves, think about or journal about what we value in ourselves or appreciate about ourselves, or ask someone we trust to tell us what they appreciate about us. When we are needing to feel respected, or to feel loved, we can think about how we can do a better job of respecting – and loving – ourselves.

Please share your thoughts about unmet emotional needs and their relationship to non-hunger-based eating by commenting on this post.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, consider joining my next weight management class, The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management. For details, check my website:

For frequent updates on this topic and related topics on weight loss maintenance and motivation, follow me on Facebook and on Pinterest: Institute for Lifelong Weight Management; On Twitter and Instagram: I4LWeightManagement.Join me for my free Teleseminar on Sunday September 14th at 12 noon Central Standard Time: “The Top 7 Mistakes that Smart People make when trying to Lose Weight and Keep it Off Forever – and how YOU can Avoid Them!” For details, call-in information, and to register, email me:

With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh™ is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.