Rebel Wilson Got Real About Her Experience with Emotional Eating

"My way of dealing with [stress] was just like, eating donuts."

Rebel Wilson attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 02, 2020 in London, England
Photo: Lia Toby/Getty Images

When Rebel Wilson declared 2020 her "year of health" back in January, she probably didn't foresee some of the challenges this year would bring (read: a global pandemic). Even though 2020 has no doubt come with some unexpected hiccups, Wilson has been determined to stick to her health goals, taking fans and social media followers along for the entire journey.

This week, Wilson opened up to Drew Barrymore about how she's found a balance with her eating habits in 2020, revealing that she used to rely on food as a way to cope with the stress of fame.

Wilson appeared as a guest on a recent episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, sharing that a milestone birthday (her 40th) helped her realize she'd never truly made her own health a priority. "I was going all around the world, jet-setting everywhere, and eating a ton of sugar," she told Barrymore, calling sweets her "vice" in times of stress. (

"I think what I mainly suffered from was emotional eating," continued Wilson. The stress of "becoming famous internationally," she explained, led her to use food as a coping mechanism. "My way of dealing with [stress] was just like, eating donuts," she told Barrymore (#relatable).

Of course, eating for reasons other than hunger is something we all do. Food is supposed to be comforting; as human beings, we're literally biologically wired to find pleasure in the things we eat, as Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N., R.Y.T., wrote for Shape. "Food is fuel, yes, but it's also there to soothe and comfort," she explained. "It's completely normal to feel happy when you bite into a juicy burger or luscious red velvet cake."

For Wilson, emotional eating initially led her to try different "fad diets," she told Barrymore. Thing is, though, when you try to manage emotional eating by simply restricting and labeling certain foods as "good" or "bad," you're likely just setting yourself up for more cravings and, in turn, more overeating, explained Lydon. "The more you try to control emotional eating, the more it ends up controlling you," she noted.

After coming to that realization herself, Wilson told Barrymore she opted for a more well-rounded approach to address what was actually underlying her urge to use food as a coping mechanism. At the start of 2020, Wilson not only revamped her fitness routine — trying everything from surfing to boxing — but she also started "working on the mental side of things," she told Barrymore. "[I asked myself:] Why am I not valuing myself and having better self-worth?" explained Wilson. "And on the nutritional side, my diet was mainly all carbs, which was delicious, but for my body type, I needed to eat a lot more protein," she added. (BTW, here's what eating the *right* amount of protein every day actually looks like.)

Eleven months into her "year of health," Wilson told Barrymore she's lost roughly 40 pounds so far. Regardless of the number on the scale, though, Wilson said she's enjoying the fact that she feels "so much healthier" now. As she told an Instagram follower last month, she's loved herself "at all sizes."

"But [I'm] proud to have gotten healthier this year and treating myself better," she said.

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