Emotional eating

We’re struggling to cope, everything’s wrong, nothing’s right. We need a pickup, something that makes us feel better, something that bridges the gap, so we reach for the biscuit tin. We know it isn’t health, but it makes us feel better, right?

Emotional eating is a way to right what’s wrong and although we know it’s already bad for our health, it also means we’ll pile on the pounds. Whether we’re using emotional eating as a way of satisfying feelings of stress, depression and frustration, emotional eating will only serve to make us feel worse.

Changing perceptions

Decide you’re going to change the way you deal with stress and think about snacking.

Practice awareness

If emotional eating is something you’ve done for years, it’s important to practice awareness so you’re consciously aware what is what you’ve been doing.

Deal with and manage stress

Emotional eating is often tied to stress. When we manage our stress, we will think more clearly about what we put into our mouths.

Make lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes will always need to be made if we are to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate a healthier lifestyle so you’re not relying on those snacks and include exercise and relaxation as part of those strategies.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and feelings at any given time, not just around what we eat. When we learn how to stop emotional eating, we not only control our weight, but we control our emotional health too. Satisfying cravings are a short sharp fix that will only serve to fill a temporary gap and will never sort out our initial problems. We must do that.

Finally, cravings will never help with energy, or make us feel good about ourselves. Cravings can only serve to make us ill in the longer term.


27 Nov, 2015

4 thoughts on “Emotional eating

  1. Yes, this is an issue that I have to deal with now, as I’ve gotten into a few bad habits over the past few years!

    It started off as being bored when I was staying with a friend and took on a mind of it’s own. I’m sure this is how it starts off for a lot of people and ends up being a very bad habit. We start off with a few bites here and there and end up doing things like, eating a whole bag of chips without realising it. It becomes an addiction just like any other, which ends up with the extra weight that isn’t healthy.

    It also doesn’t help if you live with someone who eats a lot of sweets and snacks who doesn’t worry about the extra weight! I’m not using that as an excuse, but just stating the facts.

    It is probably a good thing I don’t eat a lot of fast food, which is the worst for being unhealthy. Now if I can just find an alternative to snacking to deal with stress and frustration that would be fantastic! Here in the US, we get bombarded by commercials, for snacks and fast food, so it’s not surprising it gets stuck in our head.

    I need to work on losing the weight now so it doesn’t become such an issue later on in my life, when I won’t be able to take it off so easily and causes health issues.

    1. Thanks Randy, yes I agree with you. It’s far easier not to bring sweets and unhealthy snacks into the house, than it is to have them in the house and avoid them. Although we start off with the best of intentions, once snacks and sweets are brought into the house, the willpower usually goes straight out the window.

      As you say, living with someone who eats sweets and unhealthy snacks also doesn’t give us the incentive to stop. They’re also not good for us, as you have rightly said.

  2. Looking back I can see that I have turned to food at times of stress, but I have been fortunate that as that period passed, so did my need to eat out of habit.

    The worst time was revising for finals when I lived next door to a sweet shop. I’ll leave it there! Now I understand more about keeping on top of my stresses and can hit the healthy stuff instead.

    1. Thank you. I think your last paragraph defines your response beautifully. When we come to understand our stressors and deal with them, we will learn not to use food as an emotional tool.

      I’m pleased you see the importance of heating more healthy now and that you deal with your stress better.

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