Empaths & Weight

I have recently made the connection between being an Empath and taking on extra body weight. I never noticed this before and I wonder why it isn’t discussed more in the weight-loss communities. Are people aware of it? I know it is common for victims of sexual abuse to become obese which makes sense. (Oprah’s story is one that comes to mind). I also noticed before that many massage therapists are often more heavyset. Is this because by touching people they automatically process more of their stuff and need a barrier?

I also have my own recent experience with finally losing a significant amount of weight that I had had for years. The catalyst in me losing it was actually a HUGE fight I had with my father while visiting. Immediately after the fight I flew home and felt a blow in my 3rd chakra as though a physical cord had been severed and that a significant separation had involuntarily occured–after butting heads with my father for years. While I didn’t make the connection until much later, it was very shortly after this that I felt pulled to go to a Weight Watchers meeting. Once I made that commitment, losing the weight was not all that difficult. It seems as though all the elements were in place.

Throughout the process and even now I look back and notice how weight is a protective layer. I recently heard someone say that overweight individuals are in “protective” mode. What is it protecting us from?

It wasn’t until a session with Elaine when the other puzzle piece came together. I learned I was an empath and as a result I process other peoples emotions and “stuff”, subconsiously. Finally a name to what I’d been feeling all this time! This is why I always was so tired, especially around people. Being tired makes me feel like I need more “fuel” which makes me eat more than is necessary, which makes me gain weight, which gives me the protection I needed. A-ha! It’s all linked together.

For me, I can see that my father is the person who I had always tried to help emotionally, taking on his stuff, always trying to fix it, make him feel better, etc.. While never being able to. The funny thing is, I think my father is exactly this same way!

This has made me think about so many other Empath issues and I wonder if cigarette smokers do it to push people away because they “can’t handle” life?

I’d love to learn more about this if anyone has any insights!

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18 Responses to Empaths & Weight

  1. Administrator says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Yes, you understand Empaths and Weight Gain! Most people do not know about this, because most of us do not know what it means to be an empath, and to be intuitive. When we don’t have good energetic boundaires, our system tries to make up for it by giving us physical boundaries, i.e. body fat. For empaths and intuitives I see two things tend to happen. First, as you already mentioned, empaths process other people’s emotions, and that makes us gain weight because it isn’t our stuff and we’re unconsciously trying to shut it out. You’ll also notice that sometimes very skinny people are very good at dissociating from certain emotions, which the empath takes on.

    Weight gain and intuitive ability is not a hard and fast rule. Genetics has an effect, and of course diet and exercise. But, how the parents were feeling, especially the mother, when we were in utero also has a huge effect. One of my clients is super thin while her brother is normally built. The difference between them was that while her mother was pregnant with her, her father was hospitalized and almost lost his life. The mother didn’t have the extra emotional reserve to give to her baby and was actually pulling it from the baby instead of the other way around. This actually “teaches” the baby’s energy system to get rid of emotional energy. For my client’s brother, during his in utero experience was one of being surrounded by joy and anticipation at his arrival, which was very easy for him to absorb. He came in with a body type that was just as it was meant to be. (It is SO important for expectant mothers to deal with their stress, fear, and sadness consciously!) At the other end of the spectrum, mothers who are stressed out can also have babies that try and take the anxiety away from the mother. These babies grow up to have a different body type (usually pear shaped, or with big hips) and tend to be natural empaths. It is also possible to be super skinny and empathic—the client I mentioned who is ultra thin is highly intuitive and empathic, but this client also disperses a lot of energy away from her when she is around stronger empaths than she.

    The second thing that can happen is also boundary related—that when an empath begins opening up intuitive gifts, especially in the upper chakras, and we don’t do things to also keep the lower ones in balance, our body compensates by having us gain weight in an attempt to ground us. Lots of intuitives suddenly develop sugar and carb cravings (which makes us gain weight but further exacerbates the situation by pushing our energy up into our heads) when they begin exploring their gifts. To prevent this, the lower chakras need more attention. Exercise is essential for intuitives, especially working the legs. And to help the sugar cravings, empaths and intuitives need more water, protein, and fat than most people.

    When I finally committed to opening to my spiritual gifts, I gained about 20 pounds without changing anything about my eating habits and exercise routine. It was quite frustrating, and I’m still trying to manage it. I had also married a skinny man who had family training in dissociating from his “negative” emotions. I gained 10 pounds after he proposed to me. It’s been a practice staying out of his emotional business and it’s also been a challenge keeping my lower chakras balanced. Slowly but surely I am getting back on course. I changed my diet to more whole foods and humanely treated animals, I drink more water than a normal person, (I shoot for a liter before lunch and another liter before bed in little increments) and I work out with a personal trainer. Excerise is a must for intuitives—work those legs!!! And I have someone work on me, body work and energy work, to get foreign energy out of me on a regular basis.

    As for other addictions like cigarettes—I suspect that it is an avoidance mechanism. There’s usually a benefit to any addiction–the trick to healing it is to give ourselves the benefit without the addictive substance and with a change in perspective on what’s really going on inside of us…


    • nicole says:

      Elaine, Thank you so much for this response. I needed advice and I have been feeling that I need to do more cardio. Since I’ve been opening up to my intuitive side ive put on weight and its making it harder for me to stay grounded in my life actually. The weight throws off my perception of self worth and causes me to create issues where there are none.

      I am really excited to utilize this advice and to empower myself to get my cardio on.


  2. Laura Spaulding says:

    Oh my God, thank you for this! I have known that I was an empath for about 13 years now. I couldn’t figure out what was causing the uncontrollable weight these past few years. As my gifts have opened up more & more, my weight has piled on. I am trying so hard, but I have just come up against such INTENSE cravings that it has been so hard to stop. I had an “experience” 3 years ago and since I have gone up 3 – 4 sizes. I am now seeing a weight management physician to help me manage this. Here’s hoping this will help. Thank you!

  3. Julie Plenty says:


    That was so interesting. I’ve always been quite athletic and work out a lot but going through a “vibrational ascension” meant that I began to put quite a lot of weight on, especially around my stomach area (the solar plexus seems to be where it’s at for empaths). I put on a bit of weight over the past year or so when both of my parents were ill.

    I live with my mother and am finding it hard to get enough space and time alone in the house. What I’ve noticed is that when she goes out (which isn’t very often) my body immediately relaxes and I can feel the weight shift. When she doesn’t………..then the opposite applies. When she went away for three weeks last year – I lost a lot of weight – it felt like it was safe to lose.

    Now I am beginning to lose weight by using the Emotional Freedom Technique to tap out any issues (really helpful for getting to the causes of lack of weight gain). What I’ve also noticed is that as my boundaries become firmer then the weight stays off; it seems to have very little to do with diet and exercise – although I’m fairly healthy in both, I think, but to my emotional state.

    Also I’ve noticed fairly recently that the heaviness in my thighs seem to be reducing as well.

    Weather also plays a part – being in the sun all day causes me to gain weight. Also I get less sleep in the summer and therefore put on weight as well.

    It is a fascinating topic and I wonder why more EFT and energy specialists (esp in the UK) aren’t involved with organizations like Weight Watchers.

  4. Administrator says:

    Hi Julie,

    Yes, it’d be great if Weight Watchers new a little bit about the energetic side of things. Managing our emotional bodies is essential for consistent weight.

    It sounds like you might need a cord healing (the energetic connection) between you and your mother. It almost sounds as if she is passing you her stuff while she is around you. Things you can do for this, especially since you know it’s coming into your 3rd chakra, are to keep one hand over your solar plexus when talking to her and visualizing a strong yellow shield in front of you. Also, a small ceremony to cut and clear the cord might also help. The cord will grow back, but in a healthier way afterwards.

    Great work on understanding yourself and your system!!


  5. Julie Plenty says:


    Thanks for your comments. I did go through a cutting of the energetic cords re: my mother last year – but it seemed to get worse, rather than better (a healing/energetic crisis?) But as I’ve been tapping, I’m becoming more assertive about my boundaries and she’s beginning to respect them more. Although I do find her energy hard work still, I am working to be more grounded and centred around her.

    Funnily enough, the weight is coming back to my thighs and ultra sensitivity is happening as well. I feel that I’m going through another stage of the vibrational cleanse. It felt really terrible at the end of last year, where I became ultra sensitive to everything – lights, people, noise. It’s come back, but not as virulent as it was before – a sign to increase my self care. And also that my body is preparing for something else (or so I feel).

  6. Linnea says:

    Hi .
    Wow, I ‘happed’ upon this site looking for number answers and got so much more…Reading these posts I just felt a huge load came off my shoulders.*sigh of relief* It is so nice to meet people who you can relate to.

    I have always intuativly felt that my weight gain was very emotionally linked. I have worked very closely with people for the last 10 yrs(hairsylist -salon/spa owner). I was 20 when I started and very unaware that others energy could effect me as it did. I was so open and had no clue how to ‘shut it down’ or block.
    I went home crying and an emotional wreck the first couple years of my profession. I could ‘see’ all the pain ( good stuff as well) in peoples lives (children especially hard to deal with). One day I recieved hypnosis to learn how to block. This was my first step
    in realizing I was an empath.Over a period of time I began to add extra strorage.

    Over the last 5 yrs I have gone through some big vibrational shifts and really aknowleging and developing my gifts but in doing so I have noticed that I could no longer loose the weight in the hips area (can realate to stressed out mother story). Which makes me spiral into self punishment mode.

    This last year has been a massive upheaval of every corner of my life. It has been a good cleansing in the end,much needed but a dramatic one to say the least. I noticed that I put on abdomin weight. I have never gained weight there before. I just thought it was i turned 30 thing:)

    I eat really healthy I try to maintain a regular excersice routine. I walk a 8 miles (4m -up hill) 2-3x per week. I am extreamly fustrated at the lack of weight loss! I have a busy family life 3 kids, good partener, my life has slowed down. I no longer work at hair. I am following my true passion of art and reading for people. So alot of things have just clicked in my life recently.
    I keep feeling there is a missing element. I know I have just put my foot on the road to happiness and maybe I am being impatient…
    I am really intersested in this Emotional Freedom Tequnique. I have never heard of that before till now.
    Any other suggestions or advice would be greatly welcome.

  7. Administrator says:

    Hi Julie, Linnea,

    Yes, it is very common to gain weight when we are going through a transition. Our bodies react to “protect” us from the new energy coming in. Keeping yourself as grounded as possible, staying in your pelvis, can help manage the transition, but it is difficult for many empaths. It becomes a life-long practice for empaths to make sure they do not take other people’s energy on, and they make sure that every relationship in their lives is balanced and equitable. Linnea, it’s very common for beginning intuitive *readers* to gain weight or have trouble losing weight. Usually they are giving too much to their clients, and the deficiet causing the lack of weight loss. Many of my students need to learn how to shake off the energy after each reading, protect themselves before hand, and keep their reading space sacred, which all helps with the energetic (and also the weight gain) boundaries.

    Make sure to watch your sugar intake, a usual weak spot for empaths and intuitives! that will add fat around your middle very quickly, as will eating too many white carbs and not enough protein.

    Regarding the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)— I’ve used it with varying degrees of success and consider it a maintanence tool for situations that may come up, like almost getting in an accident. It’s a great way to get the trauma quickly out of the body. However, in cases where there is a deep seated issue, an “underworld” extraction works better than EFT. In my training this includes an Illumination of the Chakra (you can read about this more on my website) Sometimes the issue will be deep seated and contracts will also need to be rewritten in the “underworld” or subconsious mind.

    As an example, I used the EFT technique for anxiety for a number of years, along with acupuncture. There definitely was improvement, but this did not take care of the problem entirely. What I came to understand in my training was that core issues (ones that feel traumatizing to us on some level) are imprinted in the energetic body. (The energetic body surrounds, permeates, and informs our mental, emotional, and physical bodies) When we get “triggered” by a situation or a relative, the chakra in which the imprint is stored starts playing it’s “programming” out again, and that information moves through our body, some of it through our meridians. This is why we can tap it out using energwork like EFT.

    However, when the issue is stored in the “underworld” (which can be simplistically described as the subconsious and collective unconscious) a deeper healing is needed. What I suspect is going on with Julie is that she has deep seated karmic contracts with her mother. She can maintain herself and slightly improve the situation by tapping, but it will not substantially improve until in her underworld those contracts are removed and rewritten. It is at that point that a good cord cutting/healing is done, that will allow Julie space to put her new contracts into action with her mother.

    This usually can be done in one session with a shaman, with pretty good results. I suspect, Julie, that the reason the cord cutting made things worse with your mother at first is because the underworld extraction was not done. Your mother experienced separation anxiety, your affinity to your mother was not changed, and so she sunk her energetic hooks in more deeply.

    As for me and my anxiety issue, one underworld extraction took care of the anxiety, and also a fear of flying phobia that I did not know was related. I haven’t had to use EFT for anxiety ever since.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Julie Plenty says:

    Hi Elaine and Linnea

    I agree with you Elaine that EFT is great for some “surface” issues and I’ve been doing a A LOT of tapping which has cleared a lot of stuff. But I do feel that there are some deeper issues, which I’m not sure how to deal with – but I’m ready and willing to start excavating (although the last shamanic healing I had three years ago sent me quite crazy and I ended up with discoloured patches all over my body)

    When the student is ready, the teacher appears……………………..

    And interestingly enough, it’s my brother who feels more of an energetic “tie” to me, than my mother now. Any time I’m near him I always feel as though my energy and space are being invaded, so I try to avoid him – and this takes energy. And interestingly enough I’ve had this feeling around him when I was very young. I never felt “right” around him. Although he’s a “very nice guy”.

    He’s a very sensitive soul and has had “mental health problems” – I feel that he’s probably a shaman/spiritual teacher and healer in disguise but hasn’t recognized it.

    Elaine, I know that you are not taking on any more clients at the moment, but I would like an energy healing from you whenever you decide to start taking on clients again.

    All the best


  9. Administrator says:

    Hi Julie,

    Wow! I’m so sorry your last shamanic healing experience was so intense with such unsavory side effects. I get the impression there are some really big contracts in your underworld! A shaman who deals with these intense contracts would be a great match for you. Right now I am on sabbatical, but you sound ready for work right now. I urge you to call my school, the Four Winds, and talk to my master teacher, Linda Fitch, who deals with the heavy duty stuff all the time. Be sure and tell her about the side effects (craziness and skin blotches) I would be able to work with you, but not until the beginning of the year.

    Hang in there, Julie! You are doing wonderful personal work with the EFT, and that in itself is going to make these other things with your family members easier to shift. It could be that three years ago it just wasn’t yet the right time.


  10. Julie Plenty says:

    Hi Elaine

    There are some big time contracts hanging around, absolutely! And as I do the EFT I realise that I’m coming up against the core blockages – I can actually feel them now. Funnily enough I don’t feel ready for a shamanic healing just yet. I’m happy to continue with EFT, epsom salt and lavender baths, reiki and massage for the moment.

    I see all of the above as providing energetic anaesthesia to root canal work! (okay, it’s not the prettiest comparison, but you know what I mean). I guess I am a little wary of shamanic healing work and of feeling “abandoned” by the healer (I felt that the last time).

    It was the right time to get the healing and the fact that I reacted like that meant that there was some very deep stuff being extracted.

    I was willing to wait for you because I liked the idea of having it over two months and feeling more supported in the process. I tend to find people on a gut level or by “coincidence”. I’m having an EFT/Reiki combined session later this week and will wait for the effects of that to play out (2/3 weeks) before looking at a shamanic healing, when I may (or may not) feel more ready. Who knows what or who will present itself?

  11. Linnea says:

    Thank you for your very promt and detailed resposes. It is very much appreiciated.I have been mediting and visualizing alot latley. (now that my life changes allow for the energy and time-thankfully!)
    I have been practicing opening and shutting down my energies and blocking. It can be a challenge. I think that all this will eventually lead to a more stabilized weight and emotions.
    Wow good for you Julie for working so hard. It takes alot of determinaion and stamina to get through it all.

  12. Taylor says:

    You’re right! I’m 13 and before I realized I was an Empath, I had a problem with being a little chubby around the waist. Once I found out that I was an Empath and started really embracing it, my weight slowly began to drop and I became much thinner.

  13. Kristina Baumchen says:

    I just found out that I am an empath, and while searching for more information on the subject I found this article. I have been severely overweight my whole life and always been told that it was my own fault. Now after reading this article I can finally recognize the connection and maybe try and do something about it. Thank You so much.

  14. Administrator says:

    You are so welcome, Kristina!! Let me know how the weight loss progresses as you come to terms with being an Empath


  15. Takayu says:

    I have known I am and Empath about two years now. Not sure how I found out but I am sure it was threw surfing the internet and seeing that the traits matched and explained my childhood and adult life. Everything is based on feelings and this does pose a problem but I am learning to manage it. This piece with Weight and Empathy gives me some great insight into being overweight my whole childhood and adult life. It does seem that when I do alter my eating and exercise I lose weight but very slowly. I have not yet got over my hump weight” you know the wieght that you body beleives is your stopping point”. Lately I been really feeling that it is really all about the emotions. For one reason or the other. Whether it be eating to cover the emotions or your body holding the weight to filter out and protect you from the outer emotions that you absorb from others. Any advice as to how to get over this hump?!?

    I too have an emotional draining mom and just recently my sister came to stay with me and I feel her energy as draining because she is going thru her things. My husband is very emotional as well and not to mention I have four boys two cats and my sister’s dog !! help LOL

    It is funny but in reality it is really draining being an Empath and protecting yourself from your emotions, your family’s emotions and strangers emotions as well. I feel like I am getting attacked from all angles. And they don’t understand my plight. I am trying my best not to be a hermit but it seems the only way to find peace and balance. But I have a family to raise and a life to live.

    How can I be supportive and loving and pull all these aspects together and embrace fully being and Empath.??


  16. Administrator says:

    Hi Takayu,

    Yes, it can be very draining being an Empath, but there are skills you can learn that will help turn your Empathy into more of a gift rather than feeling like you are being attacked from all angles. I know what you mean, though!

    You might find listening to the Empath Telecalls very helpful. I talk about the challenges of being an Empath, some of our blindspots, what to do about them, plus there are other Empaths on the call asking questions as well. If you’re interested, just go to my website, click on workshops, and then click on the Empath Telecall.

    You don’t have to live as a hermit, but you do have to learn self care and some basic protections, in order to have a life that you love and embrace your Empathy, too.


  17. Suz says:

    Years later I have just seen this post. This has just clicked for me today. I read an article today about empaths and have always known that I am quite sensitive. Large crowds drain me and I can’t watch the news because it makes me cry. I am overweight and this evening when one of my overweight friends knew I was upset without even talking to me, something clicked and I realized that there must be a connection between being an Empath (or a sensitive) and overeating. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I feel so validated.


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