5 Tried And Tested Strategies To Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating l Cravings l The Weight Loss Attitude

Once upon a time, like thousands of years ago, we ate to survive. We were lucky if we got to eat once a day; and more often than not we probably went without food for days.

Later on, as we evolved as a species, we got better at finding food and learnt to eat when we were hungry.

Then, as we evolved as a society, we made up and set eating times: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Now we eat when we’re busy, we eat when we’re bored, we eat when we’re angry, we eat when we’re sad, we eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re relaxed, and we eat to help us relax… we eat all the time, and most of the time anything but proper food.

We called it emotional eating. Nothing like a label to validate a behaviour…

Now we have a problem, we’re emotional eaters.

It means that what ,when and how we eat is ruled by our emotions, as opposed to hunger. But what do we do that for?

     Every behaviour, be it useful or harmful, has a positive intention. So, what do we get to gain – apart from tons of weight and disease – by doing that?

Just like with every behaviour we practice regularly and consistently, we get to develop a habit; and we get to anchor that habit into our unconscious mind by creating triggers that help set off that behaviour quickly and effectively.

Work canteen means…. tea and biscuits.

Couch and TV means… chocolate.

Cinema means… popcorn.

Friday night means… wine.

     There are so many reasons, physiological, psychological and social, that have lead us to behave this way, there’s no point over analysing. But there are just as many reasons why we should stop it, and so the right question to ask ourselves is HOW?

These are tried and tested strategies that will help you stop emotional eating:


     Many people get home after a long day at work and become a couch potato for the rest of the evening. The munchies soon follow… Becoming aware of what behaviours have become habits is the first step in kicking them to the curb. Keep an honest food journal for 7 days. It’ll help you identify certain patterns. So if couch at 7pm means cookies, plan a totally different activity in a totally different place for that time of the day. For at least 20minutes make yourself do something that boosts your mood and energy levels, such as an energizing interval workout, a power walk in the fresh air, a vigorous dance to your favourite tunes… notice how afterwards the feeling of “gotta have that” has subsided.


      Fake hunger is impulsive, real hunger builds up slowly. If you find yourself having an overwhelming desire to eat when you’re not truly hungry, it could be that you’re stressed out or bored, or that smelling or seeing, or just thinking of a particular food has created a feeling inside you that’s made you crave it… The next time you get that urge, remind yourself that fake hunger is impulsive, and real hunger builds up slowly. So, when did you last eat, did you eat enough, and enough of the right foods? Now rate your hunger – your hunger, not your desire – from 1 to 10 (10 being extremely hungry) and only eat if it’s 6 or higher.


     We often use food to reward or even distract ourselves. We just can’t be doing nothing at all anymore. Maybe not, but we can curb emotional eating with a non-food related reward, or distraction. A relaxing bath, a chat with friend, a good book… or knitting a winter warmer. A 2009 study in the Journal of Eating and Weight Disorders found knitting helped participants lower their anxiety when it came to food! Grandma always knows best…


      Scientific studies show that lack of sleep increases cortisol levels, a steroid hormone that’s overproduced when we’re under too much stress. And stressed spelled backwards reads “desserts”! Recent studies published in the International Journal of Obesity show that people who sleep between 6 to 8 hours a night have lower stress levels and are more likely to achieve their weight loss goals. So go do what you have to do to get your sleep on!


      A 2012 study in the journal Appetite found that folks who exercise during their working day; go to the gym at lunch time, or take a brisk walk during a break…  eat less chocolate than those who don’t exercise at all. Regular exercise has been found to help decrease stress, clear your mind, and help you make better decisions when it comes to food.

Are you an emotional eater?



  1. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they
    believe. Always follow your heart.

  2. It is also important to check any item you are
    buying to see if it is in good condition. Home Depot’s largest
    store is located in Anaheim, California. The next thing you need
    to do is to customize these t-shirts with your company logo.

  3. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for that problem and located most people will go in addition to with the web site.

  4. Justin Bartha as Doug is along for the ride and he again disappears before all hell breaks loose in Bangkok, the scene of the crime / wedding.

  5. Though some sort of taxation repayment may well appear to be safe, it really is not.

  6. Hiya. Very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark this site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to locate so much useful information right here within the article. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I just like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

Speak Your Mind