5 Ways to Overcome Emotional Eating

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, August 6, 2012

We eat when we’re happy, upset, stressed, bored — you get the picture. Oftentimes, these emotional indulgences become a more frequent event leading to weight gain. Use these 5 tactics to gain control.

#1: Recognize Hunger
Do you find yourself having an overwhelming desire to munch even when you’re not truly hungry? It could be that you’re bored or stressed—this type of emotional eating is a behavior we teach ourselves over many years— it takes time and effort to really gain control of it.  The next time you get the urge to dig in, ask yourself “What I am really feeling”?

#2: Keep a Food Journal
Many people plop down after a long day and become a couch potato for the rest of the night. Munchies soon follow—an endless bag of chips or pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Being able to pinpoint the exact times you indulge and what you indulge in is imperative. Keep a food journal for several weeks and you’ll realize your patterns. Take it a step further and rate your hunger from 1-10 (10 being extremely hungry)—and you’ll get an even better picture of when you’re mindlessly munching.

#3: Distract Yourself
Oftentimes we use food to provide comfort after a fight with your spouse or deal with a crabby boss. You may also find yourself so elated about your new promotion, that you “deserve” a huge slice of chocolate cake a la mode. Curb emotional cravings by finding a non-food related distraction instead. Take a warm bubble bath, call a friend, read a magazine or take up knitting. A 2009 study in the Journal of Eating and Weight Disorders found knitting helped participants lower their anxiety when it came to food.

#4: Get Your Zzz’s
Lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels, a hormone that goes up when you’re stressed or anxious. Once your emotions are in full swing, mindless emotional eating won’t be far behind. A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks who slept between 6 to 8 hours had lower stress levels and were more likely to achieve their weight loss goal. So turn off your favorite TV program (DVR it!) and step away from all electronic devices— they’ll all be there in the morning.

#5: Exercise Regularly
A 2012 study in the journal Appetite found that folks who exercised while at work (i.e. took a brisk 15 minute walk during a break) ate less chocolate than those who didn’t exercise at all. Regular exercise has been found to help decrease stress and put you in a good frame of mind. A positive attitude is sometimes all you need to help make healthier decisions.

TELL US: How do you overcome emotional eating?

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Comments (344)

  1. mecnun says:

    you can follow food campaign here

  2. That sprinkle doughnut up there isn't helping ;-)

  3. Katie says:

    You can visit my blog for all the healthy recipes you're looking for and let me know what you think.

  4. Michael says:

    Another reason why some people crave sweets and chocolates in particular is due to a lack of magnesium in their diet. Eating a food or taking a supplement that is rich in magnesium, such as blackstrap molasses, with help with sugar cravings.

  5. rajeevasthana says:

    Emotional eating can be due to several reasons and it can cause many diseases not just fat accumulation. So it is advisable to follow some easy steps in daily life to change habits for betterment of life style and healthy lifestyle.

  6. المزيونه says:


  7. Eating disorders are traditionally seen as a problem for women, not men. However, the number of men and boys being diagnosed with the disorder is on the increase. It is estimated that boys make up between 10-20% of all sufferers in the U.K.  A recent study published in the “International Journal of Eating Disorders”* suggests that nearly as many men may be suffering from binge eating disorders as women, but are less likely to seek help. This could mean the actual percentage of men suffering is a lot higher, but they do not seek help due to the stigma of having a mental health issue, or being seen as “weak” or “unmanly”. Teenage boys and eating disorders The triggers of eating disorders…

  8. David says:

    Emotional eating practices are the key factor for weight gain therefore we should found remedies for overcome form the habits, it is quite simple that when we saw our favorite foods in front of the table we can't wait more with a hungry belly so the concept of emotional eating arises.

    For a human it is quite tough to avoid the practices of emotional eating, in the above post we found the valuable points to avoid these practices of emotional eating, I must assured to get relief from emotional eating through these points.

  9. […] Best Juicer for Raw & Living Foods – The Omega 8004 or Green Star Elite GSE-50005 Ways to Overcome Emotional Eating .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 !important;} […]

  10. Lita says:

    blend 1/2 banana w/ spinach and cilantro w apple i teaspoon of papaya its good for craving good for one day, You feel full the whole day and its so Healthy

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